ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The curator of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum wasn't exactly sure what would be found: records indicated five boxes long used to exhibit captured British flags from the War of 1812 concealed more banners concealed underneath.
But not until all 61 banners were painstakingly removed in December for a conservation effort did Charles Swift actually see what was hidden. And he was pleased conservationists had rediscovered 46 flags - many captured by the Navy in other 19th century conflicts - that had been sealed from view nearly a century.
The newfound flags include banners from conflicts in Asia and from the Spanish-American War. They had originally been put on display in 1913. But seven years later, they had been covered up by the 15 flags from the War of 1812.