It was a sight to see. I've never been to an auction before, and this one was pretty impressive. The unit that was the original possessor of one flag has been re-established, and there were re-enactors there in full costume.
I took this photo without a flash, before seeing that everyone else was using one and turning mine on. The Dragoons wore horse tails on their helmets, which reminded me of the Rohirrim. (Perhaps Tolkien meant it to be the other way around.)
Also there was the great-great descendant of the British officer who had captured the flags and brought them back to England; they've been in the family since. I think I even heard him mentioning that he was wearing his ancestor's cufflinks. He posed with the unit of re-enactors in front of the flag, which was quite nice. (A bit fuzzy, sorry.) The auction was packed, standing room only. The individual unit flag, the earliest surviving example of a thirteen-stripe US flag, sold for 11 million dollars. The three regiment flags from Virginia sold together for four and a half million. They both went to the same bidder (on the telephone), who, after fees and taxes and all, will pay about 18 million dollars. I do hope they'll be on public display somewhere.
I made sure to thank the auctioneer, who had extended the invitation, and picked up a free catalog. In the cab back to work, I took in the magnificent buildings on Sutton Place. What lovely houses. (Sotheby's, a more- very- modern building, is nothing to sneeze at either.) All in all, a good way to celebrate Flag Day.