Silk Militia Flag, ca. 1820

Value (2017) | $8,000 Retail
Watch  

GUEST:
Well, it's been in my husband's family for a number of years. His great-grandfather was a captain in the Civil War. And we've had it since 1969 when his grandfather died and he found it in one of his closets.

APPRAISER:
And it's always been in your family, is that right?

GUEST:
Correct.

APPRAISER:
Well, let me tell you, this dates about 1820. It's a militia flag. It has 13 stars, it has "Death Before Dishonor," it has this wonderful eagle. This eagle and this design is strictly the early part of the 19th century. It is not the Civil War period that you thought about. It's definitely an early eagle and an early style flag, and the way it's attached to the pole and the form of the eagle, and just the layout of the flag, it's an early militia flag. It's faded, but it's survived in great condition. And do you have any idea of the value?

GUEST:
No, I really don't.

APPRAISER:
Well, if I said $75,000 to $85,000, would you be surprised?

GUEST:
You're kidding!

APPRAISER:
No, I'm not. It is wonderful.

GUEST:
You are kidding.

APPRAISER:
No, I'm not.

GUEST:
Oh, you're kidding.

APPRAISER:
No, I'm not.

GUEST:
And I've had it folded up in a paper bag.

APPRAISER:
Don't do that again. Don't fold it, and take it to a textile conservator and have them take care of it for you. It really deserves a lot of care, and it's something that you should do. Keep it out of the sun.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
It's faded pretty much now, it's been in the sun.

GUEST:
Oh, goodness. I can't believe it!

APPRAISER:
But it's just great, I'm so glad you brought it.

GUEST:
Oh, thank you! I almost... can I give you a hug?

APPRAISER:
You can give me a hug.

GUEST:
Thanks a lot!

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Guthman Americana
Update (2017)
$8,000 Retail
Appraised value (2002)
$75,000 Retail$85,000 Retail
Event
Charlotte, NC (August 10, 2002)
Form
Flag
Material
Silk

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.