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Armstrong's Purdue flag sells for $42,000 in auction

A Purdue flag that traveled to the moon and back on Apollo 11 sold for $42k Thursday

Posted: Nov 1, 2018 6:45 AM
Updated: Nov 2, 2018 7:55 AM

DALLAS (WLFI) — It's been to the moon and back, and now Neil Armstrong's Purdue flag has a new owner. Thursday night, it sold for a whopping $42,000. The flag was one of two Purdue centennial flags taken on the Apollo 11 flight.

The new owner, who is still unidentified, will pay a total of $52,500 after a bidder premium.  The flag, and more than 2,000 other items are part of Heritage Auction's sale of Armstrong's personal items. 

The bidding for the flag started at $40,000. According to Purdue Archives, the flag is one of two that flew to the moon with Purdue grad and commander Neil Armstrong. The other is in their care.  There's a photo of Armstrong presenting President Frederick Hovde the flag during a commencement ceremony in 1970.

Armstrong's engineering notebook, a Purdue pin and fraternity paddle were also up for sale as part of his collection. 

The following lots sold for:

Armstrong handwritten engineering notebook - $6,000

Dean's Club medallion paperweight - $1,500

Purdue pin - $1,000

1970 Commencement program where Armstrong got his honorary doctorate - $700

Phi Delta Theta Patch - $2,000

Gamma Phi pledge board - $700

Purdue scissor and letter opener box from President Beering - $4,400

Orlando Itin, owner of Brunos Pizza in West Lafayette, knows a thing or two about collecting memorabilia.

"There's a lot of interest in space collectibles," said Itin. "You don't see much space collectibles ever out. They've really promoted this very well and it has a lot of attention."

Big O passed on the flag, but he has his eye on an autographed picture of longtime Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose and Armstrong. Itin worked with New Orleans Saints quarterback and former Purdue star Drew Brees to purchase John Wooden's 1930's Purdue jersey in May.

In the flag description in the auction catalog, it reads "We feel it would be a noble act by a Boilermaker graduate or fan to purchase this flag in time for the University's sesquicentennial in 2019 and either donate it to Purdue or allow them to display it."

You can follow the rest of the bids here.

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