Orono man hangs Civil War-era flag for display outside his home for the first time

"It's my family flag," George Funk says proudly. 

And what a flag it is. 

"It was made by my great-great-great grandma," he smiles. "It was stored for a very long time, and lost for a long time." 

On this Memorial Day, Funk decided to do something different. 

"To think about that war and what was involved there," he says. "And of course, all the veterans who've lost their lives." 

He took the Civil War-era flag, made in 1861 and, for the very first time, put it on display outside his Orono home. 

"It's a work of art because there really wasn't a standard flag then," says Buddy Scroggins, a friend visiting from Minneapolis. "So the women who made this flag put a little bit of their own creativity into it." 

Funk's great-great-great grandmother's Akron, Ohio quilting club machine-stitched the stripes.

The 34 stars were hand-sewn in a kind of circular pattern.

The star in the middle represents Kansas, a reflection of the times. 

"That's also called from the war 'bloody Kansas,'" Funk explains. "That was one of the reasons why they fought the war. That was the big thing. Are you going to be a slave state, or are you going to be a free state?"

The flag, made from muslin, a cotton fabric, is faded and stained with blood, family lore has it.  

"It was used to hang to send the troops off, and then they had some poles they used to march with this," Funk says. "There was still a lot of bad blood between the north and the south. There were riots and fights."

"Thinking on this Memorial Day, how many people were willing to sacrifice their lives in a fight for freedom," Scroggins says quietly. "Seeing this flag, and the number of sendoffs that's it's seen, and the sacrifices it's seen." 

At least 100 people stopped by Funk's house to see the flag at a safe distance. 

Including Chris Adams, a US Navy veteran, and a volunteer Long Lake firefighter. 

"It should serve as a reminder that we are in this together," Adams says. "We may be fifty individual states, but it is one flag." 

A reminder of what's so precious: Freedom for all. 

"This country has done a lot of amazing things in its history," Scroggins says. "We're so divided, that it's terrifying to me to think we would lose this."