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"Pierce is the leading collector of early American parade flags," says Jeff Bridgman, a dealer in Pennsylvania who specializes in antique flags. "His collection is outstanding given its time span, diversity and type. He likes to collect ones that are imprinted, which tend to be more interesting."
Marilyn Gould, director of the Wilton Historical Society, says she was moved by the beauty and diversity of the collection when she saw it at Pennsylvania's Hancock Shaker Village. "For patriots, it's a very inspiring grouping," Gould says. "The people who made and used these flags loved this country and were so proud to be American."
"The Stars and Stripes: Fabric of the American Spirit" runs through August 15 at the Wilton Historical Society, Monday-Thursday, 10am-4pm, and Sunday 1-4pm (Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Rd., Wilton, 203-762-7257, www.wiltonhistorical.org.) A self-published book about Pierce's extensive flag collection, The Stars and Stripes: Fabric of the American Spirit ($18.95), is available through Amazon.com.