Freeman's Announces Sale of Rare Battle Flag

Philadelphia, Thursday, June 14, 2012-- Coinciding with the nation's celebration of Flag Day on June 14th, Freeman's is proud to announce that a complete and extremely rare eighteenth-century battle flag of the Eighth Virginia Regiment under the command of Colonel Peter Muhlenberg (1746-1807) will be offered in 'The Pennsylvania Sale' scheduled for November 14, 2012. Dating from the Revolutionary War, the "Grand Division" color is painted with a scrolling white ribbon and inscribed "VIII Virg. Regt." The remarkably intact silk flag has faded from its original salmon-red color to a golden hue as the flag descended in the Muhlenberg family line for more than 200 years.  (Est. $400,000 - 600,000)
Commenting on the sale, Samuel M. "Beau" Freeman II, Freeman's Chairman and specialist in Americana said: "Revolutionary battle flags are rare and those in private hands are almost unknown or only fragments have survived-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."
"This Regimental Color led our brave ancestors into battle, fighting in the name of freedom. The flag is from a regiment organized at the beginning of the Revolution and descends directly from Colonel Muhlenberg," shared Col. J. Craig Nannos, Freeman's consulting specialist.
A clergyman, Muhlenberg understood that the time of peace had passed, and in a rousing sermon on January 21, 1776, removed his clerical robe to reveal his military officer's uniform as he read aloud lines from the Book of Ecclesiastes.  After recruiting men from his congregation to join him, his military prowess made him the legendary "Fighting Parson" and he rose through the ranks to become a general officer in the Continental Army.
The Eighth Virginia was known as the "German Regiment" consisting primarily of German-American settlers from various areas of southwestern Virginia and West Virginia.  The regiment was involved in many major battles including local conflicts, the Battle of Brandywine and the Battle of Germantown as well as the pivotal Battle of Monmouth.  The infantry regiment has continued to distinguish itself in military history, as the Stonewall Brigade in the Civil War, the courageous 116th Regiment in the D-Day invasion and its current status as the 116th Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Virginia Army National Guard.
Freeman's is pleased to be offering this rare and early American Revolutionary flag from the highly-regarded Muhlenberg family who contributed so much to the growth of our nation. This auction follows Freeman's recent success in achieving 12 auction records in the sale of Historic USS Constitution Colors from the Collection of H. Richard Dietrich, Jr.
ABOUT FREEMAN'S  Founded in 1805, Samuel T. Freeman & Co has upheld an exemplary role as America's oldest auction house and achieves record-setting prices for clients around the world. Located on Chestnut Street, Freeman's offers over 30 auctions a year in categories including: American Furniture, Decorative & Folk Arts, English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts, Asian Arts, Fine American & European Paintings & Sculpture, Modern and Contemporary Art, Rare Books, Oriental Rugs, Fine Jewelry & Watches.  For more information, visit or contact 267.414.1240.
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