February 22, 2010 at 12:42 PM CST - Updated June 15 at 8:15 PM
LONDON (AP) - A South African flag that flew during Nelson Mandela's inauguration as the country's first black president has been bought by a philanthropist who plans to return it to its homeland.
Bonhams auction house had been due to sell the flag in London on March 24.
But it said Thursday that a deal had been reached with a U.K.-based South African businessman who plans to hand the flag over to the South African government. The sale price and the buyer's identity were not disclosed.
Bonhams says the 5 foot by 7½ foot (155 centimeter by 230 centimeter) flag was flown from a helicopter above the ceremony in Pretoria on May 10, 1994. It is signed by Mandela, his predecessor F.W. De Klerk and Mandela's successor, Thabo Mbeki.
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