Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 41" x 71.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 29" x 59.5"
48 star, U.S. Navy small boat ensign, made in the WWII era and extensively flown. Though unsigned, the flag appears to be of U.S. Navy manufacture. While U.S. involvement in the Second World War (1941-45) necessitated the acquisition of flags from many sources flags, the Navy had long made their own flags at several locations. Ensign is simply a term for the primary flag from a ship. This example is Marked "No. 11" along the hoist, on the obverse, with a black stencil. This is a size designation for a small boat flag that, per U.S. Navy Regulations of 1914, was to measure 2.37 x 4.5 feet. At approximately 2.4 x 4.9 feet, this particular flag is very close to those specifications on the hoist, though a bit long on the fly, especially considering that a small portion of the original length is absent. In my experience, variation such as this was the norm as opposed to the rule, especially when a measurement approximated an even number (in this case, 5 feet).

The canton and stripes of the flag are made of wool bunting of a notably heavy weight and pieced with machine stitching. The stars are made of cotton and are double-appliqu├ęd (applied to both sides) with a zigzag machine stitch. There is a heavy canvas binding along the hoist, with four brass grommets. The general manner in which the flag is made, with higher grade fabrics and uncommonly stout construction, is indicative of U.S. Navy flags of the WWI-WWII era.

The 48 star flag became official in 1912 following the addition of New Mexico and Arizona. It remained the official flag throughout WWI (U.S. involvement 1917-18), WWII (U.S. involvement 1941-45), and the Korean War (1950-53), until Alaska gained statehood in 1959 and the 49th star was added.

Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% silk organza for support on every seam and throughout the star field. It was then hand-stitched to a background of 100% cotton, black in color, that 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 black-painted and hand-gilded Italian molding. The glazing is U.V. protective Plexiglas.

Condition: There is significant fabric loss at the fly end from obvious long-term use. There is modest to moderate soiling along the hoist binding, along with some rust staining. There is a moderate degree of soot in the striped field from the engine of the ship, accompanied by minor stains from other sources. The stencil along the hoist has faded. All of the above is expected from a Navy flag that was actually flown. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use, especially when they present well, like this example.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: 48
Earliest Date of Origin: 1941
Latest Date of Origin: 1945
State/Affiliation: Arizona
War Association: WW 2
Price: SOLD

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