Of Historical Note: Flagging Westborough's memories

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By Lori Berkey

Photo/Lori Berkey

Westborough – The photo of this flag was taken on the stairwell at the Westborough Public Library.

According to a notice hung near the fabric relic, the flag is made of silk and was toted in the Civil War by Company K of Westborough.

The notice also tells how the flag ended up at the Westborough library. It credits three individuals with donating the piece to the library in 1903: Lt. William R. Warner, Sgt. Austin C. Stearns and Sgt. Melville H. Walker. The typed message also explains how a flag that was carried in the war is in such good shape. Appreciation for a restoration grant is acknowledged, with thanks being given to the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, a state agency that doles out finances based on the governor's recommendations and an appropriation by the state legislature.

The flag's presence in the library was especially meaningful this year, as 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's start. The Westborough Historical Society scheduled several programs during the year to commemorate the anniversary, including an open house that was held in March at its Sibley House headquarters, where the public was invited to view Civil War artifacts. Historical portrayer Paul Lambert was also on the society's March program calendar to re-enact Civil War events while clad in a period uniform.

Per the Westborough Historical Society's Winter 2011 “Connections” newsletter, Ed Norris, head of the Battle Flag Preservation Commission of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, did a presentation about flags and invited attendees to march over to the library to view the special flag hung there.

Of Historical Note is a weekly segment of the Community Advocate that features a hidden or well-known landmark from one of our newspaper's six communities.