Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 16.25" x 12.25"
Flag Size (H x L): 10.5" x 6.25"
The practice of displaying a son-in-service banner became popular during WWI (U.S. involvement 1917-18) and was continued or even increased during WWII (U.S. involvement 1941-45). Families would display them in their front windows to signify the numbers of sons they had serving in the military during the war. There was one star for each child. The flags were traditionally composed of a rectangular white field with a blue star or stars, framed by a rectangular red border. Typically, if a soldier was killed, a gold star was applied over the blue. If other circumstances occurred, such as the soldier became a prisoner of war or missing in action, another color was used, such as purple or white. There was a whole list of colors to signify different statuses.

This particular example dates to WWI, which places it among the earliest of the form. The design is branch-specific, which makes it more unusual than the average example. Embroidered with red, white, blue, and gold silk thread, on a ground of blue felt, the words “U.S. Navy” appear along the top register, followed by a graphical representation of a son-in-service banner that features a single, blue star. Below is an emblem that consists of a spread-winged eagle, perched upon the topmost point of a federal shield, upon which the letters “U.S.” are emblazoned in gold, and behind which are crossed, gold anchors. This is the badge of a commissioned, U.S. Navy officer. Across the top is a crimped, metal bar, with a small metal ring for hanging.

Son-In-Service banners that include the branch of the military in which the soldier served are more scarce than those that are non-specific. WWI examples in general, especially in this felt style, with embroidered elements, are especially scarce.

Mounting: The banner 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 mount was placed in an antique, American, softwood frame of the Victorian period, with a reeded surface and triangular corner blocking, to which a rippled profile molding, black with gold highlights, was added as a liner. The banner has been hand-stitched to 100% hemp fabric or a hemp & cotton blend (we use both interchangeably). Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: Excellent.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1917
Latest Date of Origin: 1918
War Association: WW 1
Price: SOLD

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