Skip to comments.Pre-Revolutionary War flag found in Southold (Bought for a few hundred dollars - worth 1 million)
Posted on 07/10/2006 9:28:52 PM PDT by 11th_VA
A lifelong history buff, Gary Laube of Southold decided to spend several hundred dollars to buy an 18th-century trunk at an estate sale in his hometown in 1992 because it contained a woven 19th-century coverlet made by a member of one of the town's oldest families.
It was only when he got his purchase home that he discovered a textile balled up in the bottom of the trunk -- one that has proved much more historically and financially valuable than the coverlet and that quickly launched him on an ongoing historical detective hunt.
What the 52-year-old Revolutionay War re-enactor and historic house restorer had purchased, according to experts, is the oldest-known relatively intact flag made in America, probably dating to the mid-1700s..
(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...
'Cuz you don't buy old trunks.
Is that an early St Andrews Cross?
It looks more like St. George's cross.
You might be interested in this.
Old Flag Ping
How exciting for this person!
God bless him for his decision not to sell it.
I wonder if that might be a pine tree in the corner?
According to the article it is.
What the 52-year-old Revolutionay War re-enactor and historic house restorer had purchased, according to experts, is the oldest-known relatively intact flag made in America, probably dating to the mid-1700s.
Laube didn't immediately go public, waiting until experts had examined the flag. And all of those who saw the banner have been unanimous: It's the real deal.
The object he found in the trunk was a dark beige wool flag, 31-by-33 inches, with a green-fabric pine tree, the symbol for New England in colonial times, and a red cotton cross of St. George, the symbol for England, in the upper left corner.
In the past few years, Laube has unearthed important new information. While he initially believed the flag came from a Long Island military unit in the late 1600s, he is now certain it came from a Connecticut regiment in the following century.
And he has a strong hunch on who carried it in that regiment and how it ended up in Southold.
After buying the trunk at a sale of items from the estate of Bill and Frances Woodward of Southold, Laube guessed the flag was made before 1700 and later used in the French and Indian War, 1754 to 1763.
"I knew about pine tree flags," he said. "I was pretty sure there were no existing pine tree flags, and with the St. George's cross we had a pre-Revolutionary War flag."
Wow - good catch !
Like I said, this never happens to me - we'll, I do have my grandpappy's WWI uniform - minus the leggings ... And my great-great grand pappy's bayonet from Pickets Charge ... but no flags
I bought George Washington's ax that he used to fell the cherry tree. The guy I bought it from said that the head has been replaced twice and the handle three times. But it is George's ax.
Do you collect antiques ?
Hmmm, maybe you should take your antique map tray to the traveling Antique Road Show for appraisal!
I try, but my wife keeps setting the 'junk' out by the curb.
yeah, me either....I always end up at the yardsales that sell stuff like used shoes.
If you examine the ax closely I believe that you'll find a small sticker just below the bottom of the head, in close proximity to the handle that reads "Made in China". If this isn't the case the China statement is incised into said area. Did you mention that George owned it? Is there any cherry juice on the handle? Would you like to buy a bridge?
If we lose this war it will be burned. That's what we're fighting for. And what the NY Times is fighting against.
I bought an old trunk once. Had an old car attached to it. ;-)
Sure as heck does -- I've got one hanging from my eaves at this very minute, about eight feet from where I'm sitting. Put it up for July 4th weekend, it rained all weekend and so I didn't put out my Betsy Ross (you're not supposed to put out a U.S. National in foul weather if you can avoid it, I read somewhere). I let the lightweight Bunker Hill poly-print carry the load this year. My cotton Continental Congress/"Grand Union" (so-called, inaccurately), if it got wet, would have been heavy enough to bend the aluminum bracket.
Experts would have to be summoned to check for original dye-colors, but there was more than one possibility in that general pattern. Butterscotch (color of the Electors of Hanover, which the Georges were) is one possibility, red's another.
We rented a house for the summer back in '96 in Southold, apparently the wrong one.
My RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list (FreepMail me if you want to be placed on or taken off this list).
It looks a lot like a window...
Because you would have used that old rag to check the oil in your car.
Thanks for the ping!
I learn new stuff on FR every day.
Doubt I'll be able to insert the bolded word into any conversations, but it's nice to know.
Earlier this month Sotheby's in Manhattan sold four Revolutionary War regimental flags captured from Continental troops and taken to England by a British officer for $17.3 million, setting a price record for flags.
So last week Martucci upped his estimate. "I would probably say right now it would sell for between $1 and $2 million, and I wouldn't be surprised if it actually went for more," he said.
The financial value is academic for Laube, who has no plans to sell the flag he has conserved and framed and now stores in a vault.
"When I was a kid, I was always into history," he said. "We studied about Bunker Hill in seventh grade and we saw the pine tree flag. And to this day, when I look at it, it's exhilarating."
Oldest thing we have is a percussion gun from probably the 1830s
pic of it here, in case you're interested. It's an underhammer rifle, which already makes it unusual.
(if you go to the site, the Lancaster gun on the photo album is a repro my hubby uses).
I have some knitting books almost as old, though.