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Battle flag carried by black Union troops sells for $200K

FILE - This undated photo provided by Morphy Auctions shows a detail of the 127th Regiment United States Colored Troops battle flag in Denver, Pa. The flag, carried into battle by one of the 11 black Union regiments during the Civil War, has been sold at auction for nearly $200,000. The Atlanta History Center bought the flag Thursday, June 13, 2019, making it the largest purchase the center has paid for a single artifact. (Morphy Auctions via AP, File)

DENVER, Pa. — A flag that was carried into battle by a black Union regiment during the Civil War and hand-painted by an acclaimed African American artist will join one of the country’s most comprehensive Civil War collections.

The Atlanta History Center bought the flag at auction Thursday for $196,800, making it the largest purchase the centre has paid for an artifact.

Morphy Auctions was selling off the flag in Pennsylvania.

It depicts a black soldier waving goodbye to Columbia, the white female personification of America, beneath a banner reading, “We Will Prove Ourselves Men.”

It’s one of 11 painted by David Bustill Bowser, the son of a fugitive slave. It’s the only known surviving flag.

Centre President and CEO Sheffield Hale said the flag “doesn’t need words to tell you what it is and what it represents.”

The Associated Press