Civil War Medicine Museum logo

David Price, executive director of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, stands in the entrance to the downtown Frederick museum. The museum’s logo, behind him, was rejected for publication in a Washington, D.C., visitors guide because it includes a Confederate flag.

The upcoming edition of a Washington, D.C., visitors guide will not include an advertisement for a Frederick museum because the museum’s logo includes a flag associated with the Confederacy.

Claire Carlin, vice president of partnerships and alliances for Destination DC, wrote in an email on Monday to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine that the company has decided not to run any ads depicting the flag in its September publication. A copy of the email was shared with The Frederick News-Post.

In response to inquiries for comment on Tuesday, Danielle Davis, director of communications for Destination DC, sent an emailed statement on behalf of Elliott Ferguson, the organization’s president and CEO.

“We are constantly evaluating how best to promote Washington, D.C., for visitors and have decided not to include images that can be considered controversial, which includes the confederate flag and weapons,” the email stated. “We certainly recognize that the National Museum of Civil War Medicine is a place to learn about American history and we are willing to promote the museum without the confederate flag imagery in our publications.”

Carlin previously asked the museum to submit an alternate image to run with its advertisement.

David Price, executive director of the museum, refused to honor her request. In a phone interview on Tuesday, he said the decision disappointed and surprised him.

The Civil War Medicine museum has been a member of Destination DC — and paid the $1,000 annual membership fee — since 2011, Price said. Museum advertisements with the same or a similar logo were included in prior editions of the biannual Official Visitors Guide, including one published earlier this year.

The prior ads created concern, Carlin’s first email stated. She also wrote that there were “sensitivities around this image.”

Names and images connected to the Civil War, slavery and race have faced new scrutiny on national, state and local levels.

The Frederick Board of Aldermen decided to relocate a bust of Roger Brooke Taney from outside Frederick City Hall. The tribute to the fifth chief justice of the United States — and author of the Dred Scott decision, which says African-Americans aren’t U.S. citizens — has not yet been removed.

The town of Emmitsburg faced similar discussions surrounding its doughboy statue, which honors some World War I veterans as “colored soldiers.”

State legislators considered but declined to change some of the state’s enduring symbols of the Confederacy, including the state song, “Maryland, My Maryland,” and a Taney statue on the State House grounds in Annapolis.

Price acknowledged the heightened awareness surrounding these symbols. He wrote in an email on Tuesday that discussions of Confederate flags have often ended with the conclusion that the proper place for the flag is a museum.

“Well — we are a museum,” he wrote.

Price said by phone that he respected Destination DC’s decision, but he also called it a “missed opportunity” for education.

“I wish they would have taken it as an opportunity to explain our museum and the flag and why we have it and how it’s used,” he said.

The East Patrick Street museum highlights Civil War-era history, including medical history, and camp and hospital life as experienced by both sides of the conflict, according to its website. The logo includes what is either the Army of Tennessee western theater battle flag or the post-1863 Confederate Navy Jack, according to research from Mike Galloway, a historian who works the museum.

The logo also includes a U.S. flags and a snake wrapped around a rod — a popular symbol of medicine based on Greek mythology.

“The role of the museum is to tell the history,” Price said. “We couldn’t tell the history without telling both sides.”

He said both sides shaped the modern health care system. They also treated each other’s wounded soldiers.

The same or similar logos have been featured in materials published by the Tourism Council of Frederick County and the American Bus Association, as well as numerous other state and national tourism guides, according to Price. No other organizations have expressed concern or relayed problems caused by the logo, he said.

Destination DC will reimburse the museum for the cost of the advertisement. As a Destination DC member, the museum was required to place two ads per year — at a cost of $4,468 total, based on the last two ads placed, according to Price.

Price said the museum will use its refund to advertise elsewhere. As for continuing its membership, he said, “we will definitely reevaluate.”

Follow Nancy Lavin on Twitter: @NancyKLavin.

Nancy Lavin covers social services, demographics and religion for The Frederick News-Post.

(24) comments


the money wasted on these PC 's could better be spent with local marketeers or maybe AAA and AMAC...spending $5K with these phonies in denial is like flushing it in the toilet


Actually, the "phonies" are the ones who claim this flag represents their heritage. So your outrage is misplaced.


The rebel flag makes me shudder when I see it !! Why glorify war of any kind; or "heritage not hatred" stance. The rebel flag was flown in defiance during the birth of the civil rights and voting rights movements in this country; and is a truly sad reminder of how horribly slaves were treated in this country. Come to think of it we weren't to kind or forgiving to native americans too. Perhaps there is a flag of sorrow or remorse we could fly proudly instead!


Confederate and Union caps, grey and blue, are immediately recognizable as emblems of the opposing armies of the Civil War. Images of these caps on either side of the Rod of Asclepius would make a fine emblem for the museum.


[thumbup] thought about that too.


Claire Carlin = highly sensitive, over educated and probably very sheltered


Maybe because she is educated she realizes the meaning of that particular flag - and no, it is not the flag of the confederacy. It was a battle flag that was co-opted by the KKK.

Kafir al-Amriki

This is her email address. I suggest sending a respectful email.


The American War Between the States (aka the Civil War) was actually a giant dodge ball game. One side wore white with pink stripes. The other side wore orange with black stripes. If the referee called you "out", you had to go lay down on the lane at Antietam until the game was over.


Good for Mr. Price. These whack job PC people are just overboard now. Offensive to have a Confederate Flag at a Civil War museum ? Really ????? Kudos to Mr. price to stepping to the plate and doing the right thing


Ignoring our past is a prelude to repeating it.


Proud of the museum for not backing down. Can't wait to NOT support the businesses "destination DC" endorses. Run by idiots, obviously. I expect the museum will get more visitors than ever now.[smile]


For a membership fee of $1000 you are required to spend another $4k+ in advertising. Gee where do I sign up

Comment deleted.

Are you serious.


good that they dropped you. why would you want to advertise in such a stupid magazine anyway. if they can't respect the history, then they don't need your ad.


The Civil War: The United States vs. some other states.


A well deserved response to Mr Price's stubbornness. The logo is worthless and the only one representing a civil war museum with the confederate flag. It's board and it's free 'in-kind' landlord - The City of Frederick should have a serious discussion with Mr Price. His beloved and offensive logo is likely the primary reason for its low visitor count. The publication did him a favor by pointing this out.


"...the only one representing a civil war museum with a confederate flag."

Depends on which confederate flag you're thinking about. The museum in Bardstown, KY has a confederate flag in its logo. If you go, be sure to check out the civil war women's museum. Also, a good recent book on women in the civil war is "Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy" by Karen Abbott.


The name brings mental images of chopped off limbs and carnage, actual instruments and such, more appropriate before lunch or after? I"ve never been able to decide. Oh yeah it has a logo besides that may make me gag.


Again with your trash talking hate of everyone and everything


I hope all the other advertisers drop their ads from this publication because of this....put Destination DC out of business.


Of course. Because, ignoring offensive parts of history is what we do now. I would be interested to know if the DC Visitor's Guide has references to a certain "offensively named" NFL team. If so, then they are simply picking and choosing instead of following a blanket policy of not allowing things which may be "offensive". Why don't we just cut out all parts of history that we don't like? World Wars? Never happened. Obviously, the United States misunderstood the whole thing. Civil War? Just a little altercation like the Hatfields and McCoys. When did we as a nation become so ridiculously blind to the truth that we have to tiptoe around the parts we don't like? History has happened. It should be studied so that the same mistakes are not (hopefully) repeated, however, human nature being what it is I don't hold out any hope for that. How long do people living now have to pay for the mistakes and missteps of their ancestors? If we keep living in the past, then there is no future.


When did we as a nation become so ridiculously blind to the truth that we have to tiptoe around the parts we don't like?......That sentence could apply to many things that have been published in the FNP over the past week. We do need to stop tiptoeing around the parts we don't like and confront them head on...and realize that we are doomed to repeat the past if we don't confront the past and go about fixing the future.


I think we are dangerously close to repeating the past right now.

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