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    Horace Greeley: Monumentally Important 1872 Portrait Flag Banner. Campaign flags have long been considered the aristocrats among categories of political collectibles and the Greeley flag is the "Holy Grail" item in that category. Only three examples are believed to exist and all of them have been known in the hobby for decades. In the "internet age" a surprising number of items once considered prohibitively rare have been discovered. Cass-Butler pewter rims and Lincoln portrait flags are excellent examples (although the Lincoln flags have nonetheless risen substantially in value, because demand has continued to exceed supply). But there have been no newly-discovered Greeley flags. Rarity alone does not explain the exalted position occupied by the Greeley flag. There has always been a magic to the Greeley name for hobbyists and historians, probably because of his amazing career (leading journalist, backer of the Union cause during the Civil War and of course his much quoted - if paraphrased - sentiment that those who seek opportunity should "Go West young man, go West." Greeley was always engaged in public policy and had long identified himself with the Republican party, the party of Lincoln and abolition. However he became disillusioned with the rampant corruption in Washington during the Grant administration and opted to run for the presidency himself as a Liberal Republican/Democrat. It was a futile crusade. There was no overcoming Grant's huge popularity as a Civil War hero and he was easily re-elected to a second term in 1872. The campaign was physically and emotionally exhausting for Greeley and he died just a few weeks after his crushing electoral defeat. Of the three known Greeley portrait flags, the Frent example is the most iconic, having been published in "Running for President", (p. 312), in 1994. The other two examples have been and remain in major private collections and one of them is committed to eventual institutional donation. The other is deeply ensconced in a collection still in the building phase and is unlikely to come on the market for many years, if ever. In short, this may be the only opportunity an advanced collector may have to acquire this iconic flag. Condition is great overall. A couple of old creases do not detract and the flag has a crisp feel. There are no stains or damage. The blue color in the canton is a little weak as shown, but this is definitely as made. There is no fading. Dimensions: 10.5"x 7.25".

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    10th-11th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,601

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