Humiston said Whitmore “lived a good part of his life” in Maine, and the family told him the flag should “come home.”
That was back in November. After agreeing to donate the flag to the museum, they then began figuring out the logistics of getting the precious flag from Colorado to Maine.
The flag measures about five-and-a-half feet tall and seven-and-a-half feet wide, and one shipping company quoted them a price of $50,000 to fly the flag to Maine, according to Humiston.
“It’s gigantic,” he said.
The family ultimately ended up paying close to $900 to put the flag in a protective crate and an additional $2,000 to ship it by truck from Colorado, he said.
“The crate weighed 480 pounds,” Humiston said. “Nothing was going to happen to that flag.”
The truck began its cross-country journey with its patriotic cargo on March 1 and it arrived at the museum eight days later, he said.
“It got here safe and sound,” he said.
Joyce Huntley, 92, of Dunedin, Fla., said she’s happy that her great-grandfather’s flag is in the museum where it can be viewed by all. It was very special to her great-grandfather.
“The flag was always with him,” she said. “It went through thick and thin with him.”
The flag will be put on display at the Maine Military Museum along with some Civil War rifles and a picture of Whitmore. History buffs who would like to see it for themselves are welcome to visit the museum any weekend between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. (from Memorial Day to Veterans Day the museum will be open six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday).
Humiston said the flag is the only intact Civil War artifact from the 15th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment that he’s ever seen.
“It’s a beauty,” he said.
The descendents of Whitmore are pleased to share this piece of family history with the museum, and relieved that the flag is back in Whitmore’s home state of Maine.
“Our flag has come home,” said Huntley.