Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 47.25" x 44.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 37.75" x 35.25"
This white cotton canvas banner, which reads "Welcome Mr. President" in large blue letters, was found with an index card pinned to it that read "F.D.R. San Francisco 1939". The date is concurrent with the construction and the second term of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It is also a date unlikely to be chosen by an individual who was interested in adding value to an F.D.R. object. Roosevelt was elected four consecutive times and led the nation during WWII, which in 1939 did not yet involve the United States (U.S. involvement 1941-45).

In 1939, F.D.R. was campaigning for his third term. On February 18th, 1939, he opened the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco, a.k.a. the San Francisco World's Fair, which was held in honor of the recent openings of the Bay Bridge (1936) and the Golden Gate Bridge (1937).

FDR's Message at the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition

Commissioner Creel, President Cutler, Friends of the Golden Gate International Exposition:

Although I have commissioned Mr. Roper to act and speak for me in the ceremonies that mark the opening of the Golden Gate International Exposition, I cannot forego this further and more personal expression of my deep interest. From what I saw with my own eyes last July, I can well imagine the beauty of the completed undertaking, and I look forward with real eagerness to the visit this coming summer that I have promised myself.

Were the West and things Western less close to my heart, I would still be constrained to wish the Exposition a success even beyond the hopes of its builders, for the federal government is in close partnership with this national enterprise.

One government agency has helped financially to build the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge—both of them engineering marvels of the century; another agency has helped with men and funds to raise this new island from the ocean bed; and still another has assisted in the construction of the hangars and other buildings that will remain when the Exposition ends, and the site reverts to its intended purpose—a great permanent airport immeasurably helpful to the commerce of the Pacific Coast, and a vital and integral part of our national defense.

Treasure Island, with an area of more than four hundred acres, is America's newest insular possession. It is an outstanding example of territorial expansion without aggression.

I am quite open and unashamed in my liking for expositions. They perform a distinct service in acquainting people with our progress in many directions and with what other people are doing. They stimulate the travel that results inevitably in a larger degree of national unity by making Americans know their America and their fellow Americans.

I have never thought it unfortunate that New York and San Francisco picked the same year for their World's Fairs. Instead of one incentive, people have two, and it is my sincere hope that 1939 will witness a swing around the whole American circle that will give some realization of our resources and our blessings, and more important, emphasize the essential unity of American interests. Getting acquainted with the United States is about as good a habit as I know.

Furthermore, the San Francisco and New York World's Fairs do not in any way duplicate each other. Their themes and their exhibits cover different fields and make different appeals. Most decidedly, if you have seen one, you have not, in effect, seen the other also.

The eleven western states which are partners in this Exposition constitute a great area which is of incalculable importance to the prosperity of the United States. The vigor and boldness of these states—a direct inheritance from path finding forbears-are equally helpful in the social pioneering that has been commanded by today's necessities.

Many times, in the elaboration of what I call the Good Neighbor policy, I have stressed the point that the maintenance of peace in the Western hemisphere must be the first concern of all Americans—North Americans, South Americans and Central Americans—for nothing is more true than that we here in the New World carry the hopes of millions of human beings in other less fortunate lands. By setting an example of international solidarity, cooperation, mutual trust and joint helpfulness, we may keep faith alive in the heart of anxious and troubled humanity, and at the same time, lift democracy high above the ugly truculence of autocracy.

And so, when I wish the Golden Gate International Exposition all possible success, it is as an instrument of international good will as well as an expression of the material and cultural progress of our own West and of our Pacific Ocean neighbors.

Read more at the American Presidency Project:Franklin D. Roosevelt: Message Opening the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco.

The banner was made by the Electro Plax Co. in San Mateo, California and bears their label with an address of 14 Vista Ave.. Very little was available regarding the history of this maker, though it appears they may have been in operation from the 1920's or 30's through at least the 1970's.

Mounting: The banner has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton twill, black in color, which was washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. The mount was then placed in a modern, black-painted and gilded molding. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1939
Latest Date of Origin: 1939
State/Affiliation: California
War Association:
Price: SOLD

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