Flag flown over US Capitol on Bicentennial of Cornerstone Laying -1993

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by Jen Bowen, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Jen Bowen

    Jen Bowen New Member

    I'm not a flag collector but I was hoping some of you experienced & knowledgeable folks might be willing to give me insight.

    I've got this flag that was given to me as thanks by my Congressman and I'm trying to massively downsize my possessions so I am trying to get rid of it -

    This flag is different than most that have flown over the U.S. Capitol as it was specifically a historic commemorative occasion celebrating the September 18, 1993 bicentennial laying of the US Capitol's cornerstone laying by Pres. George Washington. It comes with a certificate and a commemorative foldout poster.

    I have zero idea what this is worth - I've put it up on eBay but I don't know how far off base I may be with the asking price of $100 or what I should accept if someone gives a best offer since I have no idea what may be fair.
    Can anyone give me advice?
     
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .....
    Hello, Jen!

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forum!

    I have bought a great many (100's) of Flags on eBay (eBay Member "Robin_Hickman"), including a few U.S. Flags flown over the U.S. Capitol. The "market value" of your Flag on eBay will be determined by a few different factors. In addition to the Flag itself and the box it came in, is the ALL IMPORTANT "Certificate Of Authenticity" (COA). If you do NOT have a COA to show that the Flag was flown over the Capitol, then all you have is a normal, every day, U.S. Flag.

    1. WHEN the Flag was flown over the Capitol.
    2. WHY the Flag was flown over the Capitol.
    3. WHO (Representative or Senator) had the Flag flown over the Capitol.
    4. WHAT size (3'x5', 4'x6', 5'x8', etc.) is the Flag that was flown over the Capitol.
    5. WHAT Material/Fabric is the Flag made of that was flown over the Capitol.
    6. Is the Flag in its ORIGINAL Box?

    The information in #1-#6 can have a minor or MAJOR impact on the relative "Market Value" of your Flag. Is the DATE an "important" one? Is the reason WHY a mundane one (a constituent's birthday or retirement) or one of great significance? Is the Representative or Senator a relatively "unknown" one or somebody that EVERYBODY knows? Is it a "small" or "big" Flag? Is it is Cotton, Wool, Nylon, or Polyester Flag? Does the Flag (& its COA) come in the ORIGINAL box?

    And, perhaps, the MOST important factor...

    7. What were the prices of similar Flags that were SOLD on eBay?

    To find out more about lucky #7, you'll need to find out what the prices were for "completed" listings on eBay. To do that, you'll need to enter in whatever search terms you're using and hit "enter" on your keyboard, or the Blue Search button on the eBay page. Once you get the results, click on the "Advanced" link to the right of the "SEARCH" button in the upper right-hand corner of the results page.

    When you get to the "Advanced Search" page, put a checkmark ("X") in the "COMPLETED listings" box and click on the BLUE "SEARCH" button. The results page will show you ALL of the COMPLETED (SOLD and UN-Sold) listings for your search terms. The UN-sold items will have their prices in BLACK and the SOLD items will have their prices in GREEN. To find JUST the SOLD items, on the "Advanced Search" page put a checkmark in the box marked "SOLD Listings", then click on the BLUE "SEARCH{" button. The results page will show you all the listings for your search terms that were sold.

    EXAMPLES For eBay Search "FLAG + CAPITOL + FLOWN"

    eBay Search (Including description) 174 Items (10-21-2016)

    http://www.ebay.com/dsc/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=1&_nkw=Flag+Flown+Capitol&_sop=10

    eBay "Advanced Search" for "FLAG +CAPITOL +FLOWN" for "Completed Listings" = 51 Items (10-21-2016)

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=FLAG+%2BCAPITOL+%2BFLOWN&_in_kw=1&_ex_kw=&_sacat=0&LH_Complete=1&_udlo=&_udhi=&_samilow=&_samihi=&_sadis=15&_stpos=97402&_sargn=-1%26saslc%3D1&_salic=1&_sop=10&_dmd=1&_ipg=50

    eBay "Advanced Search" for "FLAG +CAPITOL +FLOWN" for "Sold Listings" = 23 Items (10-21-2016)

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=FLAG+%2BCAPITOL+%2BFLOWN&_in_kw=1&_ex_kw=&_sacat=0&LH_Sold=1&_udlo=&_udhi=&_samilow=&_samihi=&_sadis=15&_stpos=97402&_sargn=-1%26saslc%3D1&_salic=1&_sop=10&_dmd=1&_ipg=50&LH_Complete=1

    You would get slightly different results for differently spelled words, such as "capital" instead of "capitol", or "flew" instead of "flown". You can easily come up with different search terms to use. I just went for what I thought was a fairly simple and straight-forward set of search terms. I don't know if you'll find the exact same Flag in your search results, but you should be able to get a pretty good idea as to what similar Flags (size, fabric, etc.) were priced at and/or sold for. I think the "unknown" factor here would be the size of the "niche" your Flag would be in. I would think that the prospective "niche" buyers who would be most interested in your Flag would be "History Buffs" (naturally), or "Architects" or "Architectural Students", or "U.S. Capitol Buffs". The best of all possible combinations would be a combination of ALL three and who happen to be very rich!!!

    Sellers can ask whatever price they want for their items on eBay (and elsewhere). The "Market Value" of items on eBay are the prices that buyers are willing to pay for those items. The "Completed Listings" items will show you the ASKING or STARTING prices of the UN-sold items AND the actual selling prices of the "Sold Listings. You will be able to get an idea of what prices the sellers were asking and what prices the buyers were willing to pay for similar items.

    I have some 3'x5' Sewn & Embroidered U.S. Flags (including a COA) in their original boxes that I had flown over the U.S. Capitol (courtesy of Representative Peter DeFazio) on September 14th, 2014 to commemorate the bicentennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Are such Flags flown over the U.S. Capitol on such an important anniversary of such a historically momentous event worth $500, or $1,000, or $10,000 each? I really don't know.

    There are, of course, other venues or marketplaces to try to sell your Very Special Flag. The relative "Market Value" of your Flag might be similar to, or completely different than, what it might be worth on eBay.

    One of the experts that I've seen quoted here on the relative value of Flags, usually vintage, antique, or historical ones, is Jeff Bridgman. If you can't find the value of your Flag on your own (please try!), you might ask Mr. Bridgman. He will probably need ALL the information that you have on your Flag and, of course, Pictures! Jeff Bridgman's website is at :
    http://jeffbridgman.com/

    I hope this helps you in your quest to find the value of your Flag. If so, then please "like" this reply in the lower right-hand corner of this entry.

    If you have any addition questions and/or observations, please keep us posted on how it's going!


    Thank you for bringing your Flag-related question to our Forums!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    .....
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  3. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    I was present at that bicentennial ceremony. The cornerstone laying was re-enacted by members of the Masonic Lodge in Alexandria, of which George Washington was a member. A cornerstone-laying is a major event in Masonic lore -- they have to carefully measure the stone and certify that it is properly made. Another interesting event took place at the same time. The statue of Freedom on top of the Capitol dome had been removed for refurbishing, and it was replaced on that date. It was impressive to see the statue lowered from a helicopter onto the dome.

    Does the foldout poster include a panoramic photo of the ceremony? If so, you'll see a little sailing ship amidst the crowd. It was a replica of a miniature ship that was presented to Washington in 1788 by the merchants of Baltimore to celebrate the ratification of the Constitution. I was one of the crew that built the replica -- but that's another story!
     
    Robin Hickman likes this.
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Peter!

    Jen Bowen hasn't been back yet to read either of our replies. I hope she checks back in pretty soon. I'd hate to think that she'd miss out on your story, especially since it fits in so well with her "Capitol Flag"!

    Also, I'd hate to think that I labored for SO long in putting together my advice for her, and then not have her come back to read it (and maybe put it to good use!)!

    Oh, Well . . . . .


    Robin
    .....
     
  5. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    I have a copy of that panoramic photo tucked away somewhere -- If I can find it I'll scan it and post it here.
     
  6. Jen Bowen

    Jen Bowen New Member

    Thank you so much for the feedback - I had read about the ceremony but the fold out poster does not contain any info about the bicentennial event, just the original laying of the cornerstone by Washington. Everything about the flag is in perfect condition and it comes with all of it's original stuff - box, coa, poster - and the flag has never been opened. It's just such a rare thing that I can't find any other flags that were flown for this particular event for sale in any eBay or other auction site history.
    Doing some research about the flags flown over the capitol I found out about 300 are flown per day, but about 10,500 flags were flown on the July 4, 1976 bicentennial. I recall my congressman telling me only 100 were flown on the Bicentennial of the US Capitol's Cornerstone laying, but I can't find any facts or websites out there to confirm that number which would make it much rarer. Perhaps I'll reach out to Jeff Bridgeman to see if he knows more about that ceremony and how many flags were flown.
    Thanks for the stories & assistance!
     
  7. Jen Bowen

    Jen Bowen New Member

    That would be cool to see @Peter!
     
  8. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .....
    Hello, Jen!

    You're welcome!

    I hope that the information contained in my previous reply is/was helpful to you. If you were able to check on the "completed listings" of Flags flown over the Capitol, you saw that the "asking" prices were all over the place, as were the "paid" prices. Perhaps the "averaging" of the selling prices will give you a "base" to start from. Those Flags that had a little more "significance" attached to them seemed to have commanded higher prices. I would say that the bicentennial of the laying of the cornerstone of the Capitol Building would seem to be pretty "significant", but I am not an "expert" in that area.

    I hope that you'll be able to contact Jeff Bridgman, or any other experts in this field, and obtain an opinion on your Flag's worth. A link to Mr. Bridgman's website is in my previous reply (above).

    Good Luck with your search!

    Hey, Peter! I want to see the scan of your picture too!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    .....
     
  9. darlawilson87

    darlawilson87 New Member

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