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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:33 pm
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Location: York, Upper Canada
YOUNGSTOWN, N.Y. The original flag that flew over a strategic American stronghold during the War of 1812 is back home in western New York.
The U-S flag was unveiled yesterday at Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario. The 28-foot-by-24-foot banner will be the centerpiece of the historic site's new five (m) million-dollar visitors center, which officially opens June 24th.

The flag -- with 15 stars and 15 stripes -- was flying over Fort Niagara when British troops captured the fort from American troops in December 1813. It's considered one of the oldest surviving American flags.

The fort's director calls it a national treasure.

The flag was missing until 1984, when it was tracked to a Scottish castle. A decade later, officials at the fort bought the flag from the castle's owner for 200-thousand dollars.

The banner underwent restoration by conservators at the state parks department's flag storage facility outside Albany.

The flag was returned to Fort Niagara last week, making the cross-state journey on a flatbed truck.


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