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Senate OKs bill to preserve Indiana battle flags

INDIANAPOLIS – A bill setting aside $500,000 to help preserve some of Indiana's battle flags has cleared the state Senate.

The Senate passed the bill authored by Republican Sens. Jim Merritt and Allen Paul by a 49-0 vote Thursday.

The state's some 400 battle flags are currently stored in a climate-controlled vault at the war memorial in Indianapolis. The legislation allows a fund created to preserve only Civil War flags to also be used to preserve other battle flags from the Spanish-American War, World War I and other conflicts.

The bill now advances to the House.

Memorial Executive Director Stewart Goodwin says the textiles deteriorate with age, and eventually the flags will reach a point when they can no longer be salvaged.

Conservation can cost thousands of dollars per flag.