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Archival flag/banner storage system

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    I am trialing a system at the moment by placing my flags in a map drawer. It is a large space killer, however the flag can be layed flat and simply pulled out via the drawer to be viewed, like the picture. there are heaps on ebay
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    Collect anything Kavallerie


      A friend of mine works at my old hometown museum, The Grout Museum in Waterloo, Iowa and put me in contact with one of their conservators as I've recently acquired a decent sized vehicle ID flag. You've covered most of the high points but I want to share his response. The thing that jumped out at me the most is when you're rolling the flag, it should NEVER touch itself.

      "First, there's no real archival-safe way to get rid of fold lines. Unfold it when it arrives and decide if you can/cannot live with the folds (maybe they wont even be that bad when you see it up close). If you must get rid of the folds, do it with a steamer or an iron on a cool setting and make sure the flag has ample opportunity to dry fully afterwards. Use distilled or de-ionized water from a jug. Don't use tap water.

      Next, you'll need a decent, acid-free box. The following two options are both very good. One is more expensive and sturdier than the other, obviously:

      Naturally, there are all kinds of options regarding dimensions. Carefully fold (without making any creases, naturally) the flag until you've found a way to fold it that most optimally matches one of the size options for whatever type of box you decide to go with. The size options are somewhat limited these days, because of the virus. Looking over the options, it seems as though you might be forced to purchase a 6" tall box, which is certainly taller than you need.

      Alternatively, you could bring the flag to the museum (if you live close enough) and we could fit it for a box from our supply here. I'd charge whatever Gaylord is charging for that same size box. However, we only have the more expensive metal-edge barrier board style boxes in our supply. Your choice. Needless to say, we'd have to wait until the virus has passed, anyhow.

      The last thing you need is acid-free tissue to pad the folds and to keep the flag from coming into contact with itself when it's folded back upon itself.

      That's a decent option. You'll undoubtedly have extra left over when you're done. That's only a big deal if you have nothing else in your possession that you wish to preserve someday.

      We buy the tissue in big rolls, so it might be cheaper for you to come here and have us box it up for you (using a box you bring, or a box you buy from us--either way).

      Both the tissue and and the box are important for preserving the flag. However, if costs are prohibitive, go with the tissue over the box. Then, once you've padded and folded and wrapped the flag, put it in a clean, normal cardboard box. Just make sure the flag never touches the box for any extended period. Normal cardboard is made of very acid materials and it will eat the flag over time.

      When packing the flag into whatever box you pick:

      Lay it out flat and cover its entire surface in tissue paper. The, begin to fold it. Roll up long pieces of tissue paper and place the rolls along each fold, so that rather than "folding" the flag, you are bending it around the paper (very few creases involved--mostly at the corners). Make sure that you add paper any time the fabric of the flag is going to be folded back upon itself. When you are finished, wrap the whole folded package in tissue paper and place it in the box. Make sure that you box it up in a cool, dry place. Even if you intend to move it to a proper cool, dry place after boxing, if you box it up in a humid place, you might accidentally create a detrimental micro-climate inside the box. Once its in the box, store in in a cool, dry, dark place. Handle it as little as possible. Make sure that things don't get stacked on top of it and compress it."


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