Section 17A. The superintendent is hereby designated as the custodian of the flags carried in time of war by organizations of Massachusetts men or women in the military or naval service of the United States, which flags are now in the possession of the commonwealth or which in the future may come into such possession.
He shall exercise proper care, custody and preservation of such flags, and shall keep on file at all times a record open to public inspection, containing such details concerning such flags and including such pictorial representations as he may deem proper, and shall give an account thereof each year in his annual report.
He shall have supervision over the Hall of Flags, and all cases and cabinets therein, and over all cases and cabinets in Doric Hall or elsewhere in the state house wherein any such flags as are referred to herein are now or may in the future be on public display.
He may provide proper streamers and marks of insignia for identification of any of the flags referred to herein. The standard given to the regiment of Massachusetts volunteers in Mexico by General Winfield Scott, and now in the quarters of the senate, shall be retained therein, and he shall cause a proper case or cabinet to be provided therefor. In the event that other flags of the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War or World War I shall come into the possession of the commonwealth, he shall cause suitable provision to be made for their preservation with the other flags of the respective units involved. In the event that flags of World War II shall come into the possession of the commonwealth, he shall cause proper cases or cabinets to be provided therefor, either in the Hall of Flags or in Doric Hall.
The flags referred to herein shall not be removed from the state house without the express permission of the general court.