Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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  WWII AMERICAN FLAG WITH AN ELONGATED PROFILE, A SKY BLUE CANTON, AND 48 SIX-POINTED STARS WITH STAR-OF-DAVID PROFILES; PROBABLY MADE IN FRANCE OR BELGIUM TO WELCOME U.S. TROOPS FOLLOWING LIBERATION FROM THE GERMANS, CIRCA 1944, AN EXCEPTIONAL EXAMPLE

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 43" x 82.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 30.5" x 70.25"
Description....:
This extraordinary American flag, with rare symbolism and wonderful graphic qualities, is indicative of examples produced in make-do fashion by the private citizens of Europe. Displayed with great emotion to welcome of Allied Forces following liberation from the Nazi Germany, the flag was probably made in France or Belgium, though found in Germany itself. The most standout feature are the 48 six-pointed stars, with Star-of-David profiles, on a beautiful sky blue canton. The flag’s blood red, burgundy stripes provide great contrast, while inconsistent fading along the top and adjacent to the fly end complete the weathered and well-loved image that is as akin to modern art as can be found in vintage flags of the Second World War.

Elongated in shape and with the hoist end turned over and hemmed to form an open sleeve, this is a single-sided banner, lined on the reverse. Like other European-made Stars & Stripes I have encountered from WWI and WWII, the fabrics were selected from whatever could be salvaged during the scarcity of war. The white lining is sturdy, plain weave cotton, probably a bed sheet. The stars are of a similar fabric, but the white used to construct the stripes has more of an open weave, similar to cheesecloth, though not quite as thin. The red is lightweight, plain weave cotton. The canton is cotton as well, but very different, probably a blended fabric with synthetic content. This has an almost ribbed weave, closer to grosgrain in its appearance. The canton was pieced vertically, likely because it what little blue fabric there was of it to complete the task at hand, and it was pieced horizontally along the very top, almost certainly because the canton was made too small initially and had to be extended to fit properly into the striped field. The entire flag was sewn by machine, probably of a treadle-operated variety, given the probability of the lack of electricity during wartime.

Use of the Star of David helps date the flags to WWII specifically (U.S. involvement 1941-45). Both the religious and historical significance magnify the importance. Use of a 6-pointed star or "Shield of David / Magen David" is certainly poignant in a WWII flag made to celebrate the fall of Nazi oppression. In addition to the relevance of this feature to the Jewish people, at the time of their greatest challenge, flag collectors love this sort of feature for its rarity and atypical presentation. Use of stars with different numbers of points than the standard 5 is exceptionally unusual. Various examples are known with 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10-pointed stars, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries, when there was no specified number. The circumstance of having a different number of points is even rarer during the 20th century, when there was an official profile [following President Howard Taft's Executive order of 1912] and American flags were largely mass-produced. As time passed there was less and less variation.

The presence of so many interesting traits makes this an excellent addition to any flag collection, collection of WWII history, or Judaica.

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 preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples. The black-painted mahogany molding is of excellent quality. To this a square profile molding, with a finish like old gun metal, was added as a liner. The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass. Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition:
Collector Level: Flags for the truest Patriots. My best offerings
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: 48
Earliest Date of Origin: 1944
Latest Date of Origin: 1945
State/Affiliation: Arizona
War Association: WW 2
Price: SOLD
 

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