9/11 Flag Sparks Controversy

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista
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March 16, 2005

The story started simple enough: a cancer patient was selling an American flag on eBay to pay medical bills. Now, it has turned controversial. Since CBS 19 / ABC 16 first aired this story almost two weeks ago, it has taken some interesting twists.

The prized American flag is no longer in David Nicholson's home. Negative attention over the flag's authenticity forced Nicholson to move it to a safer location.

Controversy over the flag arose as the eBay auction to sell it ended Monday, March 13. The final bid was $371,300. The bidder has since retracted the bid.

"We're not going to force him into taking the flag, we're just going to relist it tonight on eBay," Nicholson said.

The flag allegedly hung on a construction crane owned by Facchina construction outside the Pentagon on September 11th. A statement on the company's website denies there was ever a crane there that day.
Nicholson, however, claims a company employee certified the flag was legitimate on company letterhead.

"Facchina changed their tune because there is a possibility they could lose millions of dollars in construction revenue, because the Pentagon wants to know why that flag ever left," Nicholson said.

Facchina admits the employee wrote the letter, but says the employee did not have permission to act on their behalf.

But the authenticity battle isn't Nicholson's only problem. The sister of a pilot killed on 9/11 and other survivors have bashed him for selling what they view as a symbol of tragedy.

"I respect her opinion, but don't shove her opinion on me, she doesn't have to bid on the flag on eBay."

The flag posted on Ebay Tuesday, March 15th for a 3-day auction.

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