Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Antique Flags > British & French Flags


Web ID: FRNj-810
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L):
Flag Size (H x L): 47" x 73.5"
French Tricolor flag with strong, beautiful colors, probably dating between the 19-teens and WWII.

French involvement in the First World War began in 1914 and lasted until the Armistace Treaty of November 11th, 1918. French involvement in WWII fell between 1939 and 1945. War drove flag production to massive levels and is the most likely reason for manufacture, especially with regard to examples of a sturdier quality than what is typically encountered. That is the case with this particular flag, which is both heavier than usual and with significant reinforcement at the corners. The purpose here is not necessarily military, but the grade of this textile is definitely utilitarian, made for extended outdoor use and not for indoor decoration.

While construction did not change much between the teens and the 1940’s, the feel of the textile is more indicative of the earlier part of this time frame. The flag is made of wool bunting that has been pieced and joined with machine stitching. There is a sailcloth canvas sleeve along the hoist, through which a rope would be passed for hoisting. Near the top of this is a maker’s tag that reads as follows: “John Edgington & Co., LTD.; 108, Old Kent Road, London, S.E.1.," along with a description of how to care for the flag.

John Edgington was the great-grandson of Richard Edgington, a sack cloth weaver who at some point went into the business of manufacturing flags and tents. Richard's son, Thomas opened a competitive business to his father’s in 1805 and is said to have supplied the flags of the British Navy flown at the Battle of Trafalgar, perhaps actually acquiring them from his father and providing them in the role of an outfitter. In 1821, Thomas’s younger brother, Benjamin, joined the business, but the two men parted ways just two years later in 1823 and became competitors, when Benjamin was chosen as his the successor to his father’s business. In 1829, Thomas claimed bankruptcy, but in 1832 he moved to a new and larger location at 108 Old Kent Rd., London, where he and his successors, including the John Edgington indicated on the maker's patch of this flag, operated for the next 136 years.

In each corner of the flag is a triangular patch. These are galled gussets, are original to the flag's construction, and were added for support at the points where the flag received the most stress when it was flown. The size and the manner in which the gussets are applied is unusual among its counterparts and is probably a signature of the way in which at least some flags were constructed by John Edgington & Co.

Mounting: The flag has not yet been mounted. I employ a full-time conservation staff that can perform the necessary tasks to properly conserve and mount in an archival manner and frame in whatever manner you wish.

Condition: There minor oxidation on the hoist binding. The overall condition is excellent.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1914
Latest Date of Origin: 1945
War Association: WW 1
Price: $2,200

Views: 2303