Dutch collector presents D-Day flag to US

The U.S. flag that flew from a landing craft during the D-Day invasion sold for more than a half-million dollars. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Dutch collector was at the White House on Thursday presenting the United States with an American flag flown on the stern of a boat during the World War II D-Day landing on Utah Beach.

The historic flag was presented during Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s visit with President Donald Trump, who said the flag will be displayed at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.

The skipper of the D-Day boat, Lt. Howard Vander Beek of Cedar Falls, Iowa, had the flag until he died in 2014.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History says a hole through the middle of the tattered flag’s field of stars is believed to have come from a German machine-gun bullet.

Dutch collector Bert Kreuk bought the flag for $514,000 at the family’s estate auction in June 2016 with the intention of giving it to the U.S.

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press

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