Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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WWII SON-IN-SERVICE BANNER FOR A SERVICEMAN IN THE U.S. ARMY AIR FORCES, WHICH WOULD SOON AFTER BREAK OFF FROM THE ARMY TO BECOME ITS OWN BRANCH, LARGE IN SCALE AMONG SERVICE BANNER OF THIS ERA, GRAPHIC, AND EXTREMELY SCARCE

Web ID: pat-552
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): 27.25" x 21"
Flag Size (H x L): 18" x 11.5"
 
Description:
The practice of displaying a son-in-service banner became popular during WWI (U.S. involvement 1917-1918) and was continued or even increased during WWII (U.S. involvement 1941-45). Families would display them in their front windows to signify the numbers of sons they had serving in the military during the war. There was one star for each child. The flags were traditionally composed of a rectangular white field with a blue star or stars, framed by a rectangular red border. Typically, if a soldier was killed, a gold star was applied over the blue. If other circumstances occurred, such as the soldier became a prisoner of war or missing in action, another color was used, such as purple or white. There was a whole list of colors to signify different statuses.

This one dates to WWII (U.S. involvement 1941-45) and varies from the norm. The ground is white, but instead of having a rectangular red border, there is a narrow band of red to the left and right. Instead of a solid blue star, the star on this banner is pie cut and faceted in blue and white. In the lower center is a pair of crossed American flags, above and in the crux of which is a winged propeller, which was the seal of the United States Army Air Forces, printed in blue with yellow highlights. Below are the words “Serving in the U.S. Air Forces.”

Son-In-Service banners that include the branch of the military in which the soldier served are scarce. Those made for predecessors to the Air Force extremely scarce. Also desirable is the scale of the banner, which is significantly larger than most of this nature.

The U.S. Army Air Forces was an outgrowth of the War Department's Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps (1907-1914), which morphed through various stages and associated titles to eventually become the United States Air Force. Between 1918 and 1926 it was known as the United States Army Air Service, and between 1926 and 1941, as the U.S. Army Air Corps (1926-1941). The onset of WWII brought with it the name that appears on this banner [in abbreviated format]. At each stage the role of flight became more critical to military strength and effectiveness, and the balance of power shifted away from the Army's central command. Following the war, in 1947, the Air Force finally became its own branch. At this time the War Department, having previously administered the Army, the Coast Guard, and various other military and pseudo-military support-oriented divisions, was abolished. This placed the Army and the Air Force on a more level playing field with the Department of the Navy, which had been its own entity since 1798.

Construction: The banner is printed on heavy weight rayon with a rolled-over sleeve at the top that is bound with machine stitching. A braided gold fringe was applied by machine to decorate the lower edge.

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

The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. The two part frame consists of a cove-shaped molding that is very dark brown, almost black in color, with red undertones and highlights, to which a black-painted and hand-gilded molding was added as a cap. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass.

Condition: There is moderate to significant oxidation throughout. There is a 4" vertiacl split in the silk fabric just below the center of the textile. This is accompanied by several minor splits and tiny holes in limited areas.
   
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type:
Star Count: Other
Earliest Date of Origin: 1941
Latest Date of Origin: 1945
State/Affiliation:
War Association: WW 1
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
Nautical:
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com


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