Capture-The-Flag: Should Minnesota Add This State Holiday In July?
On July 3rd, 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg, the 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment captured the Confederate battle flag from the 28th Virginia Infantry Regiment.
Despite the passing of over 160 years, Virginia is still not over the fact that the flag has been tucked away in Minnesota at the Minnesota Historical Society in a secure, undisclosed location.
The Virginia state government has even passed multiple resolutions since 1960 asking for the flag back, to which Minnesota has responded kindly-but-firmy, 'nope.'
In 1961 the state of Virginia asked for the flag back in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. Minnesota said no. In 1998, a group of Civil War reenactors asked for the flag back in advance of the 135th anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg. Minnesota said, again, no.
The flag was once again
begged for requested in 2000,to which Governor Jesse Venutura said "Why? I mean, we won."
In 2002 the Chief of Military History at the US Army Center of Military History wanted the flag for a military history museum in Virginia. Minnesota did not honor that request.
The next year, Virginia Governor Mark Warner wanted the flag back. This time Governor Tim Pawlenty had the honor of telling them to get lost.
Finally, in 2013 Virginia's Governor asked to 'borrow' the flag, but Governor Mark Dayton said no.
“We declined that invitation. … It was taken in a battle with the cost of the blood of all these Minnesotans. It would be a sacrilege to return it to them. It’s something that was earned through the incredible courage and valor of the men who gave their lives and risked their lives to obtain it,” Dayton said in the Pioneer Press article linked above. “As far as I’m concerned it is a closed subject.”
A Reddit user suggested making July 3rd a state holiday in Minnesota, complete with a parade. A holiday would honor those who died in the battle, while also rubbing salt in the wound of the Virginians still desperate to get the flag back.