58th Regimental flag History Detail of Union Jack following the removal of previous restoration The 58th Rutlandshire Regimental flags date from around 1840 and were brought to New Zealand in 1845 when the Regiment came to fight in the New Zealand land wars. Many of the soldiers chose to stay and settle in New Zealand when the Regiment returned to England in 1858. Upon the laying up of the colours in 1860, the flags were presented to the people of the New Zealand colony. For 70 years these flags were on open display in various public buildings in Auckland. Previous restoration By 1932 the flags were in poor condition and were transferred to Auckland Museum for restoration. During this treatment the flags were given an adhesive support using cellulose acetate sprayed onto both sides of the flag while it was supported on cotton netting. Unfortunately the netting lay on a table covered with newspaper that also became adhered to the flag, along with part of a silk dress. Undoubtedly this adhesive treatment had kept the flag together, however, the silk had become brittle with powdering and splitting throughout, exacerbated by the uneven nature of the support. Fortunately this adhesive treatment had not been applied to the entire flag. Stabilisation Colour Sargeant Mitchell holding the 58th Rutlandshire Kings Colour and Regimental Flags 1909 In order to stabilise the regimental flag for display in 2000, the 1932 adhesive treatment had to be removed. After much research and testing of adhesive removal techniques a Laponite poultice treatment was chosen to solubilise the cellulose acetate adhesive. Small manageable areas of silk were treated up to four times. The removal treatment was successful , however, the silk remained brittle and fragmentary. In order to stabilise the fragile fibres an adhesive support was chosen which could be applied to the necessary sections. A cellulose ether adhesive was applied to a sheer support fabric of suitable colour and allowed to dry before cutting to follow the outline of weakened areas. The adhesive was reactivated using acetone. Quadrants of black silk which had not been treated with adhesive were supported by stitching onto polyester Stabiltex. The conserved flag was then mounted by stitching onto a fabric-covered support for display in the Colours Gallery.