1936 48 star flag

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by ronosher, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. ronosher

    ronosher New Member

    I came across this flag tucked away in my 92 year old fathers cupboard. It is marked No 10 Mare Island and 1936. Can anyone tell me how and where this was probably used.
  2. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    The "No. 10" refers to the size of the flag. Mare Island is the shipyard in San Francisco Bay were most US Navy flags for use in the Pacific Theater were made. The sizes ranged from #1 for Battleships down to a #12 for small boats. #7 ensigns were 5 x 9 1/5 feet and were used to cover caskets. Your father's flag may have been used on a small facility on land, or it could have been used on a smaller vessel like a PT boat.
    Nick A
    Columbia, Maryland
  3. ronosher

    ronosher New Member

    Thanks Nick. Any advice on how to clean it - its a little moldy and I'd like to restore it, but I don't want to damage it ? Also any idea how long flags in that era remained in service
  4. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    I presume the flag is intact with no major damage. (If it is damaged, ie, shredded by the wind, do not attempt to clean it. Just keep it as-is. The information in the soils / stains may be of use in determining the flag's useage.) Gentle hand cleaning in cold water with Woolite or similar product should be used.

    Flag longevity depends on how much is is used. I have flags in excellent condition that were made before the US Civil War, so they have lasted over 160 years. Obviously, they were not flown much. I also have relatively new 50-star flags that are faded and damaged enough to retire. In general, silk flags are the most fragile, followed by wool, cotton, nylon, knitted polyester, and spun polyester (not the cheap, printed kind) which is quite durable.

    Nick A
    Columbia Maryland
  5. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi Ronosher,
    Could you post some photos of your flag? I have a couple of No.10 ensigns from that same period. Nick is wise to urge caution if you do clean it. I would only add don't hang it out to dry it , try laying it out flat over a lawn table or something like that. Wool is pretty resilient unlike cotton so you should be OK.

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