Custer flag expected to fetch $2M-$5M

Dec. 9, 2010 at 12:57 PM

NEW YORK, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A New York auctioneer said the sale of a flag once belonging to Gen. George Armstrong Custer is expected to raise millions for a Detroit museum.

Sotheby's, which is auctioning the Battle of the Little Big Horn flag Friday on behalf of the Detroit Institute of Arts, said the item is expected to attract high bids of $2 million to $5 million, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.

"There is something about flags that haven't just been ceremonial but have seen action, where people have died, that strikes a deep chord with people," said Selby Kiffer, Sotheby's senior vice president.

The Institute of the Arts, which has held the flag for 115 years, said it is selling the item because it falls outside of the facility's artistic mission and expertise.

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