Confederate Flag Returned To Georgia

March 26th, 2012

The Confederate flag that used to belong to a company of Georgia rifleman has returned to its rightful home, thanks to a descendant who honored his great-grandfather’s wish.

The flag served as a Civil War trophy flag for an artillery officer, Maj. William Zoron Clayton, who brought the silk banner home to Maine. The banner was kept in a box, accompanied by a handwritten note that said: “To be return [sic] to Savannah or Atlanta sometime.”

That wish was been honored 148 years later by Robert Clayton, Williams great-grandson, who donated the flag for display at the Fort McAllister State Historic Park in coastal Georgia. A dedication is set for next month, before Confederate Memorial Day. The younger Clayton shared that Maj. Clayton simply wanted to “pay it forward,” after a Bible taken from him by Confederate troops during the war was returned to him after 63 years.

Robert Clayton, a homebuilder who lives in Islesboro, Maine, said: “I think he had a little sympathy for the plight of the Confederates… They returned his Bible, so he wanted to return their flag. One good turn deserves another.”

He came up with the idea of honoring his ancestor’s wish during a casual conversation Fort McAllister park manager Daniel Brown, during a visit to the Georgia state park in October of 2010. Robert Clayton found the flag and the note 20 years before in a closet; despite the note, he chose to frame it and displayed it at his home. The visit to Georgia, however, changed his mind: “It was my great-grandfather’s wish… I looked at it for 20 years, but it needed to go back where it belongs.”

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