Media personality Glenn Beck announced Friday, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, that he has obtained an American D-Day 48 Ensign flag that flew on the USS LST-493 landing ship throughout the Normandy invasion.
When allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, the practice of going ashore with a national flag was forbidden, leaving only naval flags such as this one to tell the story of battle.
"When I first saw this flag I was overwhelmed with the struggle and the power of the human spirit," Beck said. "While the human experience is itself exceptional, those who deny our will to endure and willingness to sacrifice to free all mankind from those who wish to control and oppress, miss what makes the average American truly exceptional throughout the world."
This photo provided by Bonhams shows a tattered 48-star American flag that flew aboard the U.S.-built LST 493 on D-Day that is being auctioned by Bonhams in New York on Thursday, June 5, 2014. The flag is among the hundreds of D-Day and other World War II artifacts being auctioned a day before the 70th anniversary of the history-changing invasion. The auction also features rare print-outs of the original series of hourly Dow Jones news bulletins with some of the first reports of the fighting on France’s north coast on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/Bonhams)
[sharequote align="center"]"When I first saw this flag I was overwhelmed with the struggle and the power of the human spirit."[/sharequote]
The flag, which saw Americans into battle on the beaches of Gold, Juno, Utah and Omaha, was acquired in conjunction with the Mercury One charity. It will join the Glenn Beck American History Collection which includes several other historical artifacts, such as the original color study of the Prayer at Valley Forge, George Washington's compass and General Patton's four-star banner carried throughout the European campaign.
Ways for all to experience the poignant American artifact will soon be unveiled.
On his radio program Friday, Beck explained the importance of the flag and called it the "most humbling thing I have ever seen."
"This flag was the one that flew on one of the ships that landed at every single beach on D-Day," he said. "It is the Normandy flag, the D-Day 48-star banner."
"I have never seen a flag like this before in my life," he added later. "To me, it is the 20th century's Star Spangled Banner. It is a flag that is so frayed, almost -- the only thing really left from it really is the star field. Most of everything else is just frayed and gone.
"It landed on every beach on D-Day 70 years ago. I saw that and it was estimated to go for a relatively low price. And I thought, there is no way -- there's no way that that flag is going to go for that. I hoped and I prayed, but that didn't work. But I didn't want that flag to sit someplace and not be seen. It has already been. And nobody has seen this flag, at least very few people have seen this flag."
Watch Beck explain other artifacts he acquired, as well as why he acquires them, below:
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