Revolutionary War battle flag set for $600,000 Freeman’s auction

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2015-06-26 10:45:48

Revolutionary War battle flag set for $600,000 Freeman’s auction

23 Jul 2012, 16:12 GMT+01

The Philadelphia auction house Freeman’s have announced that a highly rare and important battle flag from the American War of Independence will feature in their upcoming November auction.

The flag, which incredibly remains intact after more than 200 years, was that of the Eighth Virginia Regiment led by Colonel Peter Muhlenberg (known as the ‘Fighting Parson’).

“Revolutionary battle flags are rare and those in private hands are almost unknown or only fragments have survived,” said auction house Chairman Samuel M. “Beau” Freeman II. “This is an extraordinary discovery. Muhlenberg is a legendary hero of the Continental Army and this flag represents his Virginia regiment. This flag pre-dates the Tarleton Colors and may be the last remaining battle flag in private hands.”

After being asked personally by George Washington to raise the regiment, Muhlenberg famously threw off his clerical robe to reveal a military uniform during a sermon in January 1776 and led 300 men from the town of Woodstock, Virginia into battle.

They became known as the ‘German Regiment’ due to the number of German-American settlers in their ranks, and fought in major battle including the Battle of Brandywine, the Battle of Germantown and the Battle of Monmouth.

“This Regimental Color led our brave ancestors into battle, fighting in the name of freedom,” said Freeman’s specialist consultant Col. J. Craig Nannos. “The flag is from a regiment organized at the beginning of the Revolution and descends directly from Colonel Muhlenberg.”

After the war Muhlenberg was elected to the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and later served as a member of the 1st Congress for Pennsylvania. He died in 1807 (just two years after Freeman’s itself was established in 1805), and the battle flag has passed down to his current descendants through numerous generations.

The faded silk flag bears the inscription “VIII Virg. Regt.”, and will be offered in the sale with an estimated value of $400,000 - $600,000.

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