Last weekend I logged onto Ebay and saw a 19-star flag that the seller guaranteed was 1816-1817 authentic. I was hugely skeptical because flags this age seem so ridiculously rare. The seller offered a full return refund if the flag is returned though so I Googled 19-star flags and saw that this exact flag had been listed at Cowan's Auctions in 2010 but hadn't sold. Rare 19-Star American Flag - Cowan's Auctions and 201: Rare 19-Star American Flag* : Lot 201. That made me a little more confident so I placed and won the bid. I then sent an email to Dave Martucci and he agreed to examine the flag and give his professional assessment. I wrote back to the seller and he confirmed again that he would refund the entire purchase price if the assessment comes back that the flag is anything less than an authentic 1816-1817 original flag. With that confirmation I paid for the flag and am having it shipped directly to Mr. Martucci for his review. My risks if not authentic is the cost of shipping, Mr. Martucci's assessment fee, and if for some reason I can't get my money back from Paypal. The chance that it is original seemed worth the risks. I'm greatly hopeful that I found a gem but have realistic expectations of success. I'll post updates as I get them. Cowan's Auction Original Assessment: Cotton, 60 x 88 in., with 19 hand-sewn, double-applique cotton stars configured in an arrangement of one central star surrounded by a ring of eight stars, which is surrounded on three sides by ten stars. The fly is constructed of eight hand-sewn, cotton stripes, with the name Mitchell inked on verso, along edge of right side of flag. A rare, early flag possibly created around the time when Indiana became the 19th state in the Union, December 11, 1816. Condition: Noticeable wear along edges; tear along top right portion of flag; 3 holes in second white stripe from top; loss of fabric along top edge of canton; few tears along seams of flag; scattered stains; some toning.