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Collection Of Rare Flags Nets Massive Sum At Philadelphia Auction

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Officials say a collection of rare and historic naval flags, including one banner that flew nearly two centuries ago on the USS Constitution, has netted a total of $784,500 following an auction in Philadelphia.

Freeman’s auction house says the 12 flags have been in private hands for more than 150 years and belonged to the late H. Richard Dietrich Jr.

Officials said the 11 flags from the USS Constitution, including a 19-star ensign used from 1816 to 1817, all sold, along with a cannonball from the vessel. The oldest banner, which dates to the late 18th or early 19th century and bears 13 stars and eight stripes, wasn’t sold.

The Constitution known as Old Ironsides, is the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat. It’s moored in the Charlestown section of Boston.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)