Rare American revolution flag makes $422,500 at auction



2015-06-26 13:03:34

Rare American revolution flag makes $422,500 at auction

It is believed to be the last American revolution battle flag in private ownership

What is thought to be the last battle flag from the American revolution in private ownership has sold for $422,500 at a November 14 auction in Philadelphia.

Thesilk battle flag was carried in the 1775-1783 conflict by the Continental Army's Eighth Virginia Regiment, led by the fighting clergyman Colonel Peter Muhlenberg.

American revolution flag The flags provenance and rarity combined to achieve a strong price

The flag was consigned by the Muhlenberg family, where it had remained for more than 200 years - an important factor in boosting its attraction to bidders.

Its great rarity, however, was the key selling point, as the auction house's chairman, Samuel M "Beau" Freeman II, explains.

"Revolutionary battle flags are rare and those in private hands are almost unknown or only fragments have survived - this is an extraordinary discovery," he said.

"Muhlenberg is a legendary hero of the Continental Army. This flag may be the last remaining battle flag in private hands."

The price achieved was despite its salmon-red colour having faded to gold - a testament to the clamour for intact flags from the war of independence.

Peter Muhlenberg famously removed his smock to reveal a military uniform as he read a rousing sermon on January 21, 1776, as the country entered into war.

In a year that has seen George Washington's personal copy of the Acts of Congress sell for $9.8m, the sale is a further reminder of the power of US revolutionary artefacts at auction.

We are currently selling this pre-war signed document by Washington, the Continental Army's commander.

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