Priceless Donation of Civil War Flag
The Van Harlingen Historical Society (VHHS) donated the 36-star flag (circa 1850) to Rocky Hill in 2012. Photo: Former VHHS VP Don Matthews of Montgomery; former VHHS president Anne Woolley; with former Rocky Hill mayor Ed Zimmerman and Rocky Hill Clerk Rebecca Newman.
The Van Harlingen Historical Society of Montgomery has given a 4' x 6', thirty-six star, c. 1865 Grand Luminary flag to the Borough of Rocky Hill.
The flag, said to have flown in Rocky Hill after President Lincoln's death, was donated to the Society by Brick resident Virginia Kaiser. Mrs. Kaiser is the great-great granddaughter of the original owner, Huntington Wolcott Freeman of Rocky Hill. Freeman was the grandson of Oliver Wolcott, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The white header of the flag has the Freeman name hand-written in ink. While the flag's condition is not good, its Lincoln history and family provenance still make Mrs. Kaiser's donation very special.
Former VHHS president Anne Woolley said, "Since Virginia was moving, she wanted a safe home for her family treasure. Thirty-five years ago she spent a sizable amount to have the flag framed after it was stored in a paper bag for decades. When Virginia approached the society, we felt it was only right for the flag to be returned to Rocky Hill."
Former borough mayor Ed Zimmerman said he was very grateful for the donation. He said the municipality hopes to have the flag professionally preserved through a grant and will then hang it in the council chambers.