First British Flag Raised At Sword Beach Up For Auction

If only the first British flag raised at Sword Beach during D-Day could talk. What stories it could tell.

The 2ft by 4ft flag has the year 1942 stamped on it and words ‘Normandy 1944’ written in pen.

It unmistakably illustrates the evidence of action, with smoke damage, wear on the edges, and bullet holes, said auctioneer Charles Miller. It’s astounding to consider this flag came under fire but also that it was the first flag erected at Sword Beach. They expect many collectors to express an interest in D-Day memorabilia as they are very popular, Mirror reported.

The British onslaught of Sword Beach started around 3 am with a naval and aerial attack against the coastal defenses constructed by the Germans. The first amphibious twin-drive tanks labored to shore followed by the 8th Infantry Brigade.  A red St. George’s Cross with the Union flag in the upper left-hand corner – was erected about a half hour afterward.

After the landing, it returned to England and was put in the trophy star of the Royal Navy.  It was purchased by a collector in the 1970s.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE