Paris 'peace' flag among this year's top endangered VA artifacts

Updated: Jan. 8, 2018 at 4:51 PM EST
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(WWBT) - Ten unique Virginia artifacts are chosen each year and deemed "endangered" to raise money to conserve them for generations to come.

One of this year's is a French flag from 1919. It was given to President Woodrow Wilson by a French delegation celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the end of "The Great War."

More from the Virginia Association of Museums:

The French flag was carried in the Paris Peace Conference Parade in June, 1919, celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the end of what was then known as The Great War.

A French delegation gave the flag to President Woodrow Wilson, and he kept it in his personal possession after leaving the White House because of its special significance to him.

It was one of the first donations made by Wilson's widow, Edith, to the then Woodrow Wilson Birthplace (now Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library) in the 1930s. The flag was prominently displayed at the Birthplace through the 1980s, but the flag's deteriorating condition forced it to be removed to storage.

As we near the centennial of the Paris Peace Conference and the of World War I, this flag remains as a reminder of Wilsonian idealism- freedom, prosperity, peace, the protection of human rights, and the spread of democracy that has been the hallmark of American foreign policy since the 1940s.

Here's a full list of artifacts chosen this year (click the link to read more about them):

  • African American Historical Society of Portsmouth (Portsmouth, Virginia);
  • Birthplace of Country Music (Bristol, Virginia);
  • Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation (Blacksburg, Virginia);
  • Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Foundation and Museum (Wytheville, Virginia);
  • Historic Sandusky Foundation (Lynchburg, Virginia);
  • Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (Winchester, Virginia);
  • National D-Day Memorial Foundation (Bedford, Virginia);
  • Office of Historic Alexandria-Alexandria Archaeology Museum (Alexandria, Virginia);
  • Prince William County Historic Preservation (Dumfries, Virginia);
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library (Staunton, Virginia)

The public is asked to vote for their favorite artifact here. The two with the most votes will be recognized as the People's Choice Awards and receive $5,000 and $4,000 for care and continued preservation.

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