Flag Pole Restoration

It is the goal of the Office of the Capitol Commission to restore and reuse original components of the Capitol whenever possible. The removal of the original flag poles from the exterior of the two legislative chambers to accommodate tuckpointing and copper roof installation provided the opportunity for OCC staff to restore these important original features. The restoration process was the same for both flag poles. Taking advantage of the Masonry contractor’s crane, the flag poles were removed from the building and placed on a specially constructed carrier and taken to the basement for storage. Capitol staff removed the hardware and old finish; then cleaned out paint and debris from the cracks. The cracks were filled with epoxy and wood filler. Once the filler material cured, staff sanded and repainted each pole. The cleaned hardware was remounted and the flag poles were ready for reinstallation. The west flag pole was returned to service once the west legislative chamber roof was completed. During the first 70 years, prevailing winds had caused a slight bowing of the flag poles. The west flag pole was turned 180 degrees upon reinstallation to counteract the prevailing wind. The Nebraska flag once again flies above the Legislative Chamber to indicate the Legislature is in session. The east flag pole, also restored, awaits the completition of the east chamber roof to be reinstalled. OCC and contract staff reattached the west flag pole just prior to the completition of the west roof and the crane’s move to the south construction yard. The 30’ long flag poles were kept in the basement corridors while staff cleaned cracks to remove debris. OCC Conservation Staff filled the cracks to stabilize the flagpole. OCC’s finishing specialist sanded and prepared the flag pole for painting. A special paint treatment was used to extend the life of the flag pole and finish.