Student Penny Drive Raises $4,000 to ‘Save the Flag’
Logan County Students Raised Money for Lincoln Artifact

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[December 05, 2018] 

As Illinois celebrates its bicentennial, the Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College announced that students and community members raised more than $4,000 to help restore an historic flag associated with Logan County and Abraham Lincoln’s first presidential campaign, during a recently completed school Penny Drive.

Students from 10 Logan County schools took part in the drive, collecting pennies that will be used to help restore the Middletown Flag, a hand-stitched campaign flag made by the ladies of Middletown, Illinois, during the 1860 presidential election. The student fundraising effort received two local matching pledges which helped boost the total to just over $4,000.

“We timed this campaign to coincide with the 2018 election season, giving teachers an opportunity to use the penny drive as a jumping off point to teach students about political campaigns of the past and present,” said Anne Moseley, Director of the Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College. “At the same time it offered an inexpensive way for students to participate in the restoration of an important local historical artifact directly tied to Abraham Lincoln’s political career.”

Participating Schools included: Carroll Catholic, Central Elementary, Lincoln Junior High, Lincoln High School, New Holland-Middletown, Northwest Elementary, Washington-Monroe Elementary, West Lincoln-Broadwell, Zion Lutheran – Lincoln and Zion Lutheran – Mt. Pulaski.

In addition to the students, Integrity Data of Lincoln also collected pennies during the drive. Museum volunteers and visitors to the museum also contributed.

The Penny Drive and matching funds brought the total amount raised to date to almost $9,000, which is about half of the projected cost for the restoration. The drive will continue through 2020.

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The flag was made for a Springfield rally for Lincoln held on August 8, 1860. After being carried in the rally’s parade, the women of Middletown were thrilled to find that Lincoln was draped in their flag as he gave a speech at the fairgrounds. At a time when women were not allowed to vote, the flag served as a way for the ladies of Middletown to express themselves publicly regarding their candidate of choice.

The Middletown Flag is one of three pieces created for and used by the Wide Awake Supporters of Logan
County, currently in the collection of the Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College. The other two are the “Nations Choice” banner and a smaller banner of Abraham Lincoln. Once the flag is restored, the entire set will be complete.

“Raising funds for the restoration was important, but that wasn’t the only goal. The penny drive was intended to build civic pride among students while helping them discover Logan County’s role in this historic chapter,” Moseley said. “In the future, they will be able to point to the Middletown Flag in the museum that they helped to save. Through the flag we can acknowledge past events while instilling pride in the role played by Logan County citizens, past and present, in our nation’s history.

“We chose to announce the results of this drive on the 200th anniversary of Illinois becoming a state in order the highlight the importance of preserving our rich history,” Moseley added.

[Mark Gordon
Public Relations and Media Manager
Lincoln College]

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