An American flag that led the first U.S. troops onto Utah Beach during D-Day on June 6, 1944, fetched legendary dollars on Sunday via Heritage Auctions.
It sold for $514,000 and was purchased by Bert Kreuk, a Dutch art collector who lives in New York as well as Switzerland.
“This is one of the most important historical American flags ever to come to auction, a symbol of our freedom,” Kreuk told the auction house, “And with our freedom I mean that of Europe in particular.”
According to Heritage, the flag came from U.S. Navy vessel LCC 60 — the only guide boat at Utah Beach — and kept by Lt. Howard Vander Beek until he died in 2014.
“This flag is easily one of the most significant artifacts of the D-Day invasion that exists,” said Marsha Dixey, a historical expert and a consignment director for Heritage. “We all commend Mr. Kreuk for his purchase and for his commitment to keeping the memory of this most important day alive. The fact of this flag’s very survival is amazing and the new owner’s commitment to its history will ensure that future generations know of the incredible sacrifices that it represents. They will also, hopefully, understand the freedoms it secured then and the freedoms it continues to secure to this day.”
Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com.