Alcatraz flag highlights PBA Jan. 24

SAN FRANCISCO – A specially designed flag that flew over Alcatraz when it was occupied by Native Americans for 19 months from 1969 to 1971 was bid to $69,000 after opening at $50,000 at PBA Galleries’ auction of Americana with manuscript material, photographs, views and California pictorial letter sheets on Jan. 24.

The red and white striped flag, with a tipi design of yellow stars on a black and brown background, was christened “Old Glory’s Helper Flag” by its creator, Lulie Nall, a Penobscot Indian living in San Francisco at the time of the occupation. 188251 AT 2-27.jpg

A specially designed flag that flew over Alcatraz when it was occupied by Native Americans for 19 months from 1969 to 1971 was bid to $69,000 after opening at $50,000 at PBA Galleries.

Conceived as a more inclusive companion to the Stars and Stripes that had symbolized the United States since Revolutionary times, the flag was taken by Nall to Alcatraz in the early days of the occupation, and had been pictured in a San Francisco Chronicle story in January of 1970, flying from a prison guard tower. The flag, accompanied by several folders of documentation and supporting materials, sold to a collector in 188123 AT 2-27.jpgTexas, who expressed his support for the American Indian movement and hinted that he might loan the flag to an appropriate museum.

The cornerstone document of the United States received keen interest as well, with a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, printed in 1848 by Peter Force from the copperplate made by William J. Stone using a wet-ink transfer process, selling for $16,100.

Also on the block was a first edition of The Book of Mormon, the cornerstone text of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with the rare leaf of testimonials at the end. Written by Joseph Smith (or translated by him from the Plates of Nephi, according to church doctrine) and published in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1830, the book has enjoyed a surge in value over the past several years. The copy on offer had been rebacked, with a new leather spine, but still fetched a very respectable $80,050.

The cornerstone document of the United States received keen interest as well, with a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, printed in 1848 by Peter Force from the copperplate made by William J. Stone using a wet-ink transfer process, selling for $16,100.

For more information, call 415-989-2665, or go online to www.pacificbook.com.

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