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West Overton Museums to unveil 'Markle Flag'

Thursday, August 16, 2001

By Mary Thomas, Post-Gazette Art Critic

An unusual and rare double-sided flag banner from the period of the War of 1812 has recently been restored and will be unveiled at a public ceremony at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the West Overton Museums, Scottdale.

The "Markle Flag" shows Gen. Joseph Markle (1777-1867) in the full military uniform of the War of 1812, seated upon a white horse and reaching for his sword. Behind him are soldiers being fired upon by Indians. On the opposite side of the flag, a white eagle with outstretched wings sitting on an olive branch holds a banner in his beak with the name Markle on it.

The 4-foot-10-inch-high-by-5-foot-10-inch-wide banner was displayed in front of the general's command tent during military campaigns while he served in the Pennsylvania Militia. It is thought to have been painted between 1812 and 1820 by at least three different artists.

Markle's fellow officers included Winfield Scott and William Henry Harrison, and his commanding officer was Gen. Andrew Jackson. Before and after the war, Markle owned and operated one of the largest paper mills in the region near present-day West Newton.

The banner, which was donated to the museum by the Markle family, was restored by painting conservator Jeffrey Rouse.

For information: 724-887-7910.

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