Disputed 19th century US flag bought by Abraham Lincoln museum sparks… – EVOL

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is once again under the spotlight after a manager failed to consult a collections committee before purchasing a 21-star flag whose description as a rare banner marking Illinois’ 1818 admission to the Union is disputed.

The flag’s acquisition through an online auction for more than $15,000 precipitated an investigation by Illinois’ Office of the Executive Inspector General about money used for the purchase. The purchase also led to division in the Springfield museum’s leadership and may have prompted the firing of an employee who said the acquisition skirted procedures.

The flag, measuring 7-foot-5 by 6-foot-5 (2.26 meters by 1.96 meters), is known as a “Grand Luminary” because its 21 stars are arranged in the shape of a star. The museum is confident it represents Illinois’ admission as the 21st state, spokesperson Christopher Wills said.

Such flags are rare because the design was changed a year later when Alabama and Maine joined the Union.

This 21-star flag allegedly dates back to 1818, when Illinois joined the union, although an expert calls its history into question. AP

But Jeff Bridgman, a respected vexillologist, or flag expert, told The Associated Press its construction and



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