There has been some buzz about Upper Deck’s decision to include a Union flag as relics in the Museum Collection insert in the recently released 2012 Goodwin Champions set. The flag that is being included was a Union Flag that had actually been carried in to battle, though I have not found any information verifying which battle or even which unit carried the flag.
The problem with the inclusion of the flag has bothered some collectors, they feel that cutting up a flag and inserting the pieces in to a card is straight unpatriotic, sacrilegious and in poor taste. Many of the collectors who have made these statements are supporting it with the legal description on how to properly retire an American Flag. They point out that our flag should never be used in such a manner and that Upper Deck will receive bad press and negative reactions if they followed through with the decision to include the relics in the set.
Some of the responses in defense are just as spirited and seem to be more detailed as to the technical definition of American Flag. One point that seems to be pretty prevalent is that the flag is being described only as a “Union Flag” which could be a national flag or in many cases States and even individual units created their own version of the Stars & Stripes to be carried in to battle as their identifying marker. Others point out that even if this was the flag of the Union Government, it was not the same country, and it was a country divided and therefore is not the same as the United States of America as we know it now.
Upper Deck has stood by their decision to include the relics, they want to introduce American history to a generation of collectors and that from the beginning the inclusion of the flag was with respect and this was there way of giving the flag a second life. Rob Ford, UD Sports Coordinator, pointed out that the vendor they bought the flag from was actually cutting pieces from the flag and selling them to his customers so the flag was quite fragile and shredded by the time they purchased it. When you see how it was received you can see that it is not a museum quality piece and it would not be ideal to give it complete to one lucky collector.
|A portion of the flag as received by Upper Deck|
This is a tough ethical question and while the subject is very different, this is still a similar debate to the arguments we hear when a company cuts up a Babe Ruth bat to insert the chips in to cards. There will always be some for it and some against it. In the end, it is your collection and if you want it (and can afford it) why not own it?
With 2012 Goodwin Champions being out for almost two weeks now the big hits are starting to show up for auction. The Union Flag relics are inserted in to standard relic cards so they were inserted in to the packs. I have come across four auctions so far, two are currently active and two have ended. This includes the three-colored flag relic card that Upper Deck has been using on their website/blog and in advertising materials for the Museum Collection.
In all honesty I believe that most collectors would be excited to pull one of the flag relic cards. I think Upper Deck took a chance and it may work out well.
I rarely talk about my personal beliefs on the blog but to give a little insight in to the man known as "Corky", I believe in ghosts/paranormal activity and I feel that personal items like uniform buttons and insignias carry over energy if the person died while wearing them and I want nothing to do with those button and insignia Museum Collection relics unless I knew for a fact (which is almost impossible to prove in this case) they came from a soldier who did not die on the battlefield. Not that I expect to pull any of these, I am more interested in the It Came From Outer Space Meteorite cards anyway.
Current Auction: $449- Auction Link
Current Auction: $305- Auction Link
Auction Ended: Card Sold $465- Auction Link
Auction Ended Early, Not Re-listed Yet: Card Did Not Sell $999- Auction Link