§ 37-8-8. Battle flags and markers.
(a) The priceless battle flags and markers now belonging to the state of Rhode Island, and any that may hereafter be presented to this state, shall be maintained by the department of administration in embellished cases suitable for their display in the halls or foyers of the State House, and the cases shall be practically hermetically sealed for the purpose of protecting and preserving the battle flags and markers for future generations as the most eloquent testimonials of the patriotism and valor of our fathers. The battle flags and markers shall not be removed from the cases for any purpose other than for their necessary repair or preservation. The department of administration shall have full care, custody, and control of all the battle flags and markers, and the department is hereby authorized and directed to carry out and enforce the provisions and purposes of this section.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department of administration is authorized to remove, conserve, and indefinitely store any battle flag or marker it deems to be in such a state of deterioration that its removal from the State House encasements is necessary for its continued existence.
(c) The department of administration is directed to study the condition of the State House historic battle flags and markers, the encasements in which they are housed and their method of display to ensure their continued survival while permitting, to the extent possible, continued public display of these historic artifacts. In conducting such study, the department shall seek input and guidance from persons with expertise in historic preservation, textile conservation, veterans' affairs and military history, as well as from members of the public. The department shall prepare a comprehensive set of recommendations for the conservation and display of these battle flags and markers. The department shall present its findings and recommendations to the governor, the speaker of the house, and the president of the senate not later than January 1, 2017.
(d) The department is authorized to apply for and accept public or private funds to carry out this study and for the continued preservation and display of these battle flags and markers.
(P.L. 1917, ch. 1461, §§ 1, 2; G.L. 1923, ch. 35, §§ 4, 5; G.L. 1938, ch. 105, §§ 4, 5; impl. am. P.L. 1951, ch. 2727, art. 1, § 3; G.L. 1956, § 37-8-8; P.L. 2015, ch. 263, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 281, § 1.)