|WWII PERIOD FRENCH FLAG WITH THE CROSS OF LORRAINE, THE SYMBOL OF THE FREE FRENCH, CA 1940-1945
|Frame Size (H x L):||Approx. 36" x 47"|
|Flag Size (H x L):||24.25" x 35"|
|WWII French flag featuring the Cross of Lorraine, the symbol of the Free French. The Free French were individuals or military units that help form the resistance to free France from German occupation. The effort was founded in London in 1940 by Charles de Gaulle, a French government minister. "By mid-1944, the Free French numbered more than 400,000. They participated in the Normandy landings and the invasion of Southern France, eventually leading the drive on to Paris. Soon they were fighting in Alsace, the Alps and Brittany, and by the end of the war in Europe, they were 1,300,000 strong - the fourth-largest Allied army in Europe - and took part in the Allied invasion of Germany." (ref. Wikipedia). Because the Free French insignia is rarely encountered on flags of this era, this is an especially nice find.
The flag is made of 3 panels of cotton. The red and blue fabrics have a plain weave, while the white panel is fine twill. The device of the Free French is made of soft black cotton, probably salvaged from an article of clothing. This is hand-sewn and is double-appliquéd (applied to both sides). Tack holes along the hoist demonstrate how it was formerly affixed to a wooden staff.
There were 26 member nations that formalized the Declaration of the United Nations in 1942. By the war's end, that number had grown to 51. Some have said that 53 countries declared war against Germany, though some more formally than others and many did not directly participate, while some changed sides. This is their list by political/geographic region:
America: USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Dominica, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay
Africa: Egypt, Ethiopia, Liberia, South Africa
Asia: Russia, China, India, Philippines, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Persia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq
Europe: UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Norway, Denmark, Finland**, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania**, Bulgaria**, Italy**, Greece
Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
** Switched Sides
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 black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed molding is Italian. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass.
Condition: There is minor to moderate foxing and staining in the white panel and minor of the same in the red panel. There are tiny tack holes along the hoist where the flag was once affixed to a wooden staff. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
|Collector Level:||Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts|
|Flag Type:||Sewn flag|
|Earliest Date of Origin:||1940|
|Latest Date of Origin:||1945|
|War Association:||WW 2|