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Discovered: A rare Civil War flag tied to Charleston. Too bad it’s probably a fake.
(Post and Courier) – When the old Charleston flag turned up unexpectedly in Michigan more than 10 years ago, it piqued Dave Downing’s interest.
He had been giving a talk about Civil War flags in Greenfield Village outside Detroit over Memorial Day weekend. Afterward, a man approached to tell Downing about an estate sale he’d attended, and a historic blue flag he had found.
“If you want, I’ll give it to you,” the man said. “You can use it in your demonstrations.”
Downing thought little of the encounter. But the next day the man was back, flag in hand.
“He gives it to me,” Downing recalled. “It looks real. I turned around to try to thank the guy and he was gone. I never got his name.”
Downing didn’t use it in his demonstrations. He carefully packed it away and forgot about it.
In 2020, the Save the Flags project, for which he volunteers in Michigan, received a donated Civil War flag with provenance dating to 1865. That banner was nearly pristine, and it got Downing thinking about the old blue flag he had secured and stored. Maybe that one was real, too.
A flag restorer checked it out and determined it was authentic.
“I decided it had to go home…