Two tattered but still bright U.S. flags flown at the most important battles of World War II are heading to auction, a seven-decades old symbol of American resiliency reminiscent of the country's post-9/11 fight back.
During a two-day auction beginning online Wednesday at Alexander Historical Auctions of Maryland, a flag flown over Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 and another flown during the D-Day invasion of France will make a rare appearance for sale.
What's more, two original maps used in the planning of the D-Day landings are also being offered in the sale, the latest by the internationally-known auction house that specializes in historical artifacts, relics and autographs.
Alexander President Bill Panagopulos, who often previews his sales to Secrets, said that the American flag flown on a landing craft at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 could fetch $250,000, and that similar flags have been auctioned for as high as $400,000.
"Given this history, the flag presented here establishes itself as one of the most vivid and evocative relics of World War II that we have ever handled, a silent witness to a day that has rightly entered the annals of American history as one of unsurpassed valor and sacrifice," he said.
The Pearl Harbor flag was flown over Pacific fleet headquarters during the surprise attack that drew the U.S. into the war. Panagopulos described it this way: "The flag itself shows considerable fraying at the fly, reducing its original length by one third, with additional separation between the stripes and numerous holes overall. Truly a singular artifact whose importance cannot be overstated."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org