Historic American flags found at Monmouth County museum

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Employees at the Monmouth County Historic Village Museum at Allaire State Park recently made a historic discovery – several rare American flags.

Experts say that the flags date back about 170 years.

“You get a chill up your spine,” says museum executive director Hance Sitkus. “You really get a sense you can touch history.”

One of the flags is from 1877 and has 38 stars on it.

“This is probably the second oldest and rarest in the collection,” Sitkus says.

There was also an eagle flag dating between 1840 and 1880. It is the oldest and tallest in the collection at about two stories tall.

“This eagle is a symbol of federalism,” Sitkus says. “Thirteen stars representing the 13 colonies…it may have been flown on steamships in that era.”

Sitkus says that the Smithsonian Museum authenticated eagle flag. The museum also wanted to have it – but it will stay in New Jersey.

“It would take a lot for us to part with it,” Sitkus says.

Another flag is a vintage commemorative flag was made in the early 1900s. It is the second oldest. It has 24 stars on it to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Missouri becoming a state.

“Twenty-four-star flags would fly from 1821 to about 1836,” Sitkus says.

These rare flags will be on limited display starting this weekend at the historic chapel in Allaire State Park to celebrate Independence Day.

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