RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Valentine Richmond History Center details the story of the River City through the use of objects. In just a few weeks the museum will add another item to its collection. It was an item that made a bold statement at a prominent Richmond institution.
At the Valentine Richmond History Center you can find just about anything linked to our past from the Miller and Rhodes clock to Buster Brown in neon. [BONUS”: Diversity flag atop Federal Reserve highlights changes in Richmond]
“It’s wonderful we have all of these objects,” says Bill Martin with the Valentine. “We’re an object driven place.”
“It’s really how we document what is going on in Richmond for future generations,” Martin says.
Now the collection is growing slightly more colorful. Remember the multi-colored flag that flew over the Federal Reserve last year?
“It was the LGBT Pride flag. Right there under the American Flag. It is an opportunity for the Valentine to preserve the flag,” says Jim Strader with the Federal Reserve of Richmond.
The flag is finding a new home at the Valentine. “We flew the flag last year as a symbol of our commitment to diversity,” says Strader.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride flag turned heads and raised a few eyebrows during Pride Month last year. The Feds decision to fly the flag ignited a controversy, but the Valentine did not hesitate when the offer was made.
Martin says the donation will join one and a half million other objects housed at the Valentine including George Washington’s walking stick and General Robert E. Lee’s boots.
“The reason we accepted the flag is because it is an important story for the city,” Martin says. “We want everyone who walks through the door here to see themselves.”
Martin says even if the Pride flag generates criticism, it will add another thread to an already rich tapestry at the museum.
“This is who we are in the community. This is the role we want to have,” says Martin. “If we want to have that role we have to tell the whole story.”
The Federal Reserve of Richmond will donate the flag to the Valentine at the end of June. The flag will not be on display or part of a special exhibit, but you can make an appointment to see it.