HARTFORD-- Connecticut lays claim to a Confederate flag, brought home by a local clergyman, held as a P.O.W during the Civil War.
A second Confederate national flag, known as "the stainless banner"and adopted as a Confederate battle flag in 1863, is part of Connecticut Historical Society's collection of 3.5 million historical documents and artifacts.
"We have some flag fragments from the Civil War, we have some other items in our collection, but this is the only complete confederate flag in our collection," said Ilene Frank, chief curator for the Connecticut Historical Society.
The flag was owned by Reverend Henry Clay Trumbull (1830-1903), an ordained Congregational minister who served as chaplain of the 10th Connecticut Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War.
The flag was given to the historical society by Trumbull's daughter in the 1930s.
Trumbull was captured at the Battle of Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina on July 19, 1863.
He was held in several Confederate prisons, as a prisoner of war, and was exchanged in November 1863 and later rejoined the 10th Connecticut and served with that regiment until the end of the war.
Historians are not certain where or how exactly Trumbull picked up the historic flag.
"Rev. Trumbull probably understood it was an important part of our history," said Frank.
The Second Confederate national flag which consists of a white field with the battle flag of the confederacy in the canton.
The canton consists of a red field with a blue St. Andrew's cross going diagonally from corner to corner surrounded by a white margin, except in the corners. Within the blue cross there are 13 evenly spaced five-pointed white stars.
Despite the controversy the confederate flag has generated, those who care for these historical relics believe it's a symbol not to be ignored.
"Our history as a nation is full of stories, some difficult, and museums are places where we can preserve the entirety of our nation's history," said Frank.
Founded in 1825, The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) is a private, not-for-profit museum, library, research and educational center.