A local historical institution needs some help to continue with its mission of educating the public on American flags.
The House of Flags Museum, located at 33 Gibson Street in Columbus, has been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Robert Williamson, who serves as the curator and treasurer for the museum and serves on its board of directors.
The museum, which is a showcase for more than 300 authentic reproduction flags and is broken into different historical rooms for perusal, opened in 2001 and then moved to its current renovated space in 2011. Prior to the pandemic, the museum was opened three days a week, was supervised by a host of volunteers, and presented group viewings.
For the most part, volunteers who assisted with opening and closing the building and giving tours were retirees and some were hesitate to help during the pandemic due to health concerns.
The museum has gone from being opened three days a week, to only one day a week. It’s currently open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, when self-guided tours can be completed. A tour can take anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes, he said.
A problem, though, with being opened so infrequently is the ability to raise monies to continue to support the House of Flags Museum’s mission of teaching our country’s and state’s history through flags. Fewer visitors has meant fewer chances to gather on-site donations and sell flags in the gift shop, which are critical to helping keep the museum running.
Williamson is currently seeking help in several areas in order to keep the museum from closing in the coming year. He said that he hopes to find new members for the board of directors and volunteers to serve as greeters and assist with tours. Donations to the non-profit would also be welcomed, as the museum will need a new heating system in the future.
If you want to help, please contact Robert Williamson at email@example.com or 828-894-5640. Donations can be mailed to House of Flags Museum, PO Box 1090, Columbus, N.C., 28722. You can also visit the House of Flags Museum website, www.houseofflags.org, to learn more.