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Scrap of flag from Nelson’s HMS Victory sells for $408,000

January 17, 2018

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 file photo, Sotheby's employees adjust a frame with a fragment of the Union Flag, which flew from HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, in London. Sotheby's auction house on Wednesday, Jan. 18, said a fragment of the red, white and blue "Victory Jack" flag that flew from Adm. Horatio Nelson's flagship during the Battle of Trafalgar has sold for 297,000 pounds ($408,761). (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)

LONDON (AP) — Sotheby’s auction house says a fragment of the red, white and blue “Victory Jack” flag that flew from Adm. Horatio Nelson’s flagship during the Battle of Trafalgar has sold for 297,000 pounds (around $408,000).

The fragment, which measures several feet (about a meter) on each side, had been expected to fetch between 80,000 pounds and 100,000 pounds.

The British naval hero was fatally shot aboard HMS Victory as he led the British fleet against France and Spain in the 1805 battle. Sailors at Nelson’s funeral reportedly tore scraps from the flag to keep as mementoes.

The fragment was part of an auction Wednesday that also included Nelson’s grog chest and decanters, along with several love letters to his mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton.

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