Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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WWII CZECHOSLOVAKIA NATIONAL FLAG, MADE FOR USE WHEN AMERICAN TROOPS LIBERATED THE TOWN OF SUSICE FROM NAZI GERMANY IN MAY OF 1945

Web ID: ofj-926
Available: On Hold
Frame Size (H x L):
Flag Size (H x L): 9" x 12.25"
 
Description:
This remarkable little national flag of Czechoslovakia, homemade of plain weave cotton, was made to celebrate the end of WWII. Constructed of three panels of plain weave cotton in red, white, and blue, joined with machine stitching (probably pump treadle), three of the flag's edges are decorated with metallic, gold, upholstery trim. Embroidered in the center of the white portion of the field, executed in gold metallic thread, is the word "Susice," followed by the date of "27. 5. 1945".

In May of 1945, American troops reached the town of Susice, located in the Pilson Region of what is now the Czech Republic, and promptly liberated it from Nazi control. A grateful population of locals, long oppressed by German occupation, greeted them with great fanfare, waving small flags and handkerchiefs as a parade of tanks and armored vehicles proceeded through the streets.* It is very likely that the flag was made specifically for this event. Because of its construction, with a wooden bar inserted along the hoist end within a stitched pocket, and the rope that allowed it to hang vertically, it was probably waved in the streets, but afterwards hung in a window to express extended thanks and patriotism in honor of both Allied victory and relief.

The basic design of this flag was adopted when Czechoslovakia declared independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, at the end of WWI, and it remains in use today. Though the Czech government was driven into exile during WWII and technically did not exist, it operated remotely and returned to power following liberation. The flag remained in the same and survived even after 1993, when Slovakia separated itself from the nation and Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic.

This is the only Czech flag that I have ever encountered with embroidered text of this sort and is a remarkable piece of WWII history.

* The parade in Susice is documented on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUA-NWcwYQw

Mounting: The flag was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert staff. We take great care in the mounting and presentation of flags and have preserved thousands of examples.

The black-painted and hand-gilded molding is Italian. To this a scooped profile molding with a dark brown finish, almost black, with red undertones and highlights, was added as a liner. The glazing is U.V. protective glass. Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition: There is soiling throughout the white portion of the field. This was professionally cleaned, though it could not be completely eradicated. There is a more limited area of soiling in the red portion, accompanied by tiny holes. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
   
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1945
Latest Date of Origin: 1945
State/Affiliation: Other
War Association: WW 2
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
Nautical:
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com


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