Monday 17 January 2022

Dutch art collector buys historic WWII US flag for $514,000

Photo: Heritage Auctions

Photo: Heritage Auctions

The American flag flown on the boat that led the first US troops to Utah Beach during World War II has been sold to a Dutch collector at auction in Texas for $514,000.

‘I did not actually realise the price, it was so emotional,’ art collector Bert Kreuk told broadcaster RTL news. ‘It still has bullet holes. It is so special.’

The pre-sale estimate for the flag was $100,000, American media reported.

Kreuk, who comes from Rotterdam but is based in the US and Switzerland, said the flag is a symbol of freedom.

‘And what price can you put on freedom?’ he said. ‘The people who gave their lives for us did not do it for money. And if I can buy a piece of history that symbolises our freedom, then that is what I will do.’

He told Heritage Auctions in an email: ‘This is one of the most important historical American Flags ever to come to auction.’

‘Last year I visited Normandy in person with an uncle of mine. This was a very emotional trip; family members of ours were killed during the bombing raids on Rotterdam in 1940. Those who survived suffered hardship beyond belief, especially because of hunger during the ‘hunger’ winter of 1944.’

‘These family members survived thanks to the liberation made possible by all of those who participated. We owe a lot of gratitude to all those nations, but in particular the United States.’

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