Sometimes it just takes new eyes to help you “discover” treasure. We’ve written in the past about the 13-star flag in our collection that was restored, reframed and hung for the exhibit that marked the 225th anniversary of the Burning of New London. Late in the summer 2007, a new member, Gary Gianotti, visited the Shaw Mansion to do some research on Norwalk privateers. Seeing the flag and hearing of its history he was very impressed because he was aware of just how rare that flag might be. In the following weeks he contacted national-level flag experts and became even more excited.
When the historical society purchased the Shaw Mansion to be its headquarters in 1907, the 13-star flag was discovered in the attic of the house. Jane Perkins, who sold the house to us, was the great-great granddaughter of the original builder, Capt. Nathaniel Shaw. Miss Perkins told Mrs. Dudley Bramble, Regent of the Lucretia Shaw Chapter of the DAR, that the flag belonged to the Naval Agent, Nathaniel Shaw (Jane’s great-great uncle), and Mrs. Bramble documented the conversation.
The flag was on exhibit for a long time on the landing to the second floor, framed and sandwiched between two panes […]