1812 American Flag Headed Home From Scotland to Ft. Niagara

<i> Associated Press</i>

A giant American flag carried off by British troops during the War of 1812 is being returned to the fort where it once flew.

Old Ft. Niagara, now a historic site along the Niagara River 40 miles north of Buffalo, will buy the tattered flag for $150,000 from the Scottish family that has owned it since the early 1800s.

The 15-by-30-foot wool and linen flag has 15 stripes and 14 stars. It is one of the 20 oldest American flags in existence, said Brian Dunnigan, executive director of the fort.

British troops captured Fort Niagara on Dec. 19, 1813, killing 65 American troops and taking 344 prisoners.


King George IV gave the flag to Sir Gordon Drummond, a general who commanded British troops in the Niagara River region. Since then, the flag has been on display at the Drummond family castle in Megginch, Scotland.

Fort officials learned the flag’s whereabouts in the mid-1980s, and curator Dennis Farmer said the Drummonds “felt very strongly this is where the flag belongs.” It is expected to be returned to the United States in the spring.