Custer`s 1876 battle flag to be auctioned

Lt Col George Custer`s battle flag could rake in a whopping 3.3 mn pounds when it goes up for auction.

London: An American flag found at Little Bighorn after Lt Col George Custer and nearly 270 men were wiped out by Indian warriors, could rake in a whopping 3.3 million pounds when it goes up for auction, according to estimates.

Sotheby`s will auction the tattered and bloodstained piece of silk - just over 32 by 26 inches - in October.

The swallowtail battle guidon of the 7th Cavalry Regiment was the only military artefact left behind after Custer and his men were defeated by thousands of Lakota and Cheyenne Indians, led by Sitting Bull, in June, 1876.

The flag was recovered by Sgt Ferdinand Culbertson, a member of a burial party, and was sold for 54 dollars in 1895 to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The flag is estimated to fetch between 2 million and 5 million dollars but hopes it could even exceed the current auction record for a flag - the 12.3 million dollars paid for an American flag captured by the British during a 1779 engagement during the War of Independence.

"It`s not a piece of decoration. It`s a sacred relic, people died for this flag," the Telegraph quoted David Redden, Sotheby`s vice chairman as saying.

He illustrated Custer`s Last Stand as an "extraordinary clash between the two cultures of America."

"Anything connected with that, particularly something that`s as significant as a battle flag, also has that kind of iconic stature," he added.

He described the guidon found by Sgt Culbertson as a "national treasure" and suggested it should eventually be returned to the battlefield museum. (ANI)