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AMERICAN RED CROSS FLAG, WWII (U.S. INVOLVEMENT 1941-45), SIGNED "PHILADELPHIA QUARTERMASTER DEPOT, DATED AUGUST 1st, 1942

Web ID: ofj-928
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 29" x 38.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 19" x 28.5"
 
Description:
Red Cross flag, made during WWII (U.S. involvement 1941-45). Made at the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot, the flag is signed on the interior of the open sleeve and is dated August 1st, 1942, inspected and so marked by an individual with the surname McAnally.

The white ground is made of wool bunting. The cross is made of plain weave cotton and double-appliqu├ęd (applied to both sides) with zigzag machine stitch. The white fabric was rolled over to create an open sleeve along the hoist, inside which leather tabs were stitched, as well as the Quartermaster Depot label. The construction is heavy duty when compared to private sector, commercially-made flags of this era and is indicative of the quality of Quartermaster Depot examples.

The Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot, now known as the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, was founded as the Schuylkill Arsenal in 1799. The arsenal itself was built in 1800, at what is now the intersection of Grays Ferry Avenue and Washington Avenue, to function as a quartermaster and provide the U.S. military with supplies. One of its most famous tasks was outfitting the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was the third federal facility in the young nation, and it produced clothing and flags for all the military's needs for the next 150 years. In 1926 the Schuylkill Arsenal was renamed the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot. In 1963 the original site was closed and relocated to the corner of West Oregon Avenue and South 22nd Street and in 1965 it reorganized into the Defense Personnel Support Center. In 1993 the government closed the textile factory and moved the remaining part of the operations to the Naval Support Station in Northeast Philadelphia. It was renamed the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia in 1998 and then again into the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support (DLA Troop Support) in 2010.

Brief History of the Red Cross:

The concept for Red Cross organizations is attributed to a Swiss citizen, Henry Dunant, who in 1859 came upon the aftermath of a war between Austria-Hungary and a French and Italian alliance on the Italian countryside, and mobilized local volunteers to administer care. Shortly thereafter, in 1861, American clergyman Reverend Henry Bellows, of the Unitarian Church of Manhattan, working with members of his congregation, organized the United States Sanitary Commission. This occurred just four days following the Confederate attack on Ft. Sumter, SC, that marked the outbreak of the American Civil War.

The name of the organization was derived from concern about the conditions of military encampments and the forthcoming attention necessary in the care of wounded soldiers. Bellows became the head of the aid society. He and others involved in the Sanitary Commission would, in 1863, help to form the Union League Club of New York, to aid the war in many other ways. The Union League and the Sanitary Commission became closely intertwined. In addition to actual care of soldiers via the efforts of volunteers, members--many of them extraordinarily wealthy or associated with well-to-do families and friends--raised funds and organized Sanitary Fairs that generated money for their work. The most significant of the fairs, held outside the Union League Club in 1864, raised approximately 1.3 million dollars, a simply enormous sum at the time. The charity spread and commissions were formed throughout the North, raising an estimated total of $25 million (the modern equivalent of $400 million) during the course of the war. The organization existed under this name until 1879.

Two years later, in 1881, the Red Cross was formed by Civil War nurse Clara Barton, as an outgrowth of the Sanitary Commission. This occurred after Barton visited Europe and heard about the global red cross networks, which had been established as part of the Geneva Convention of 1864. It was at this particular convention (there have been many) that the flag of the Red Cross was adopted. Although there is some disagreement among experts over the origin, the flag is said to have simply been a reversal of the Swiss flag. True or not, from a logic standpoint, given the neutrality of the host county, this made a good deal of sense. It was agreed at the 1864 convention that this new signal would allow the bearer safe passage during conflicts.

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 background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. The scooped profile molding has a very dark brown surface, almost black, with red undertones and highlights. To this a flat profile molding with a finish like old gunmetal was added as a liner. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass. Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition: There is minor mothing throughout and minor soiling. The flag presents beautifully. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
   
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1942
Latest Date of Origin: 1942
State/Affiliation: Pennsylvania
War Association: WW 2
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
Nautical:
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com


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