1942 Mare Island Funeral Flag

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by Cesare Bigolin, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Cesare Bigolin

    Cesare Bigolin New Member

    Hi All,

    I am new here and i have a ENSIGN 7 MARE ISLAND SEPTEMBER (ibelieve) 1942 FUNERAL marked flag. I have never seen a funeral marked one, any idea on the rarity and value of it?
    I know, I know, I should have pictures, just I do not have it with me at the moment and I am in the process of potentially trading it, so I was wandering what its value would be.

    tomorrow i will add pictures.
  2. Cesare Bigolin

    Cesare Bigolin New Member

    Here is a picture of it. unluckily i do not have space to take better pictures of it
  3. Cesare Bigolin

    Cesare Bigolin New Member

    Can anyone say anything about this?
  4. Dexter Cole

    Dexter Cole Member

    Hi Cesare, your flag marked 7 is just a size. Does it have a rope border? Or grommets, perhaps four? There is one on ebay right now (a number 7) for $200.
  5. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Cesare Bigolin!

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forums!

    For some reason I am unable to see the picture of your Flag, so I am unable to offer any "opinions" on how it looks. Sorry!

    However, Dexter Cole is absolutely correct that the numeral "7" is the Flag's size as determined by, in this case, the U.S. Navy. ALL Federal Government agencies use the same system of enumerating the federal government's Sizes of U.S. Flags.

    "Ensign", sometimes referred to as the "National Ensign", is a Navy term for the American Flag. "Mare Island" was a Naval Base in the far north end of San Francisco bay. Sometimes "Mare Island" is indicated by merely showing its initials: "M.I." or "MI". Mare Island had a very large "Flag Shop" that was kept exceedingly busy throughout World War 2. There were thousands and thousands and thousands of ships and boats in the U.S. Navy during World War 2 and they ALL repeatedly needed U.S. Flags as their old ones wore out! The Flag Shop created a few shortcuts to keep up with the demand. For example, I have beautiful Size 9 Mare Island Flag from 1944 that had its Stars PAINTED on with white paint! As you probably already know, the date that you think is listed as "September, 1942", would be when to Flag/Ensign was made. Since your Flag was made early in the War, I'd guess that its Stars were sewn on rather than painted (like mine) like they ended up have to do in order to keep up with the demand towards the middle and end of the War.

    I have NOT run across, nor have I heard before now about a Mare Island made, size 7, U.S. Flag marked "Funeral". I would guess that the flag makers at the Mare Island Flag Shop would have taken a much greater effort to make their "Funeral" Flags "just right", if you know what I mean. Now days, in 2018, so-called Funeral Flags (AKA: Interment, Casket, Burial, etc.) are almost always (if not always) 5'x9½' in keeping with the U.S. Flags official dimensions of having a 1:1.9 hoist-to-fly ratio. So, currently, the official "Funeral Flag" is a size 8 Flag/Ensign (5'x9.5'), and not the larger size 7 Flag/Ensign (5.14'x9.77'), but that was then and this is now. I have absolutely NO idea WHY a 1942 "Funeral" Flag is a Size 7 and a "modern" Interment (Funeral) Flag is only a Size 8.

    Here is the list of the Flag Sizes of U.S. Flags/Ensigns used by the United States Navy:

    FLAG Size Number, Hoist Length (in feet) x Fly Length (in feet):
    1. 20.00' x 38.00'
    2. 19.00' x 36.10'
    3. 14.35' x 27.27'
    4. 12.19' x 23.16'
    5. 10.00' x 19.00'
    6. 8.94' x 16.99'
    7. 5.14' x 9.77'
    8. 5.00' x 9.50'
    9. 3.52' x 6.69'
    10. 2.90' x 5.51'

    If you want to know the "market" value of a "Mare Island" U.S. Flag on eBay, do a search on it. You can use a lot of different terms in your search, but I recommend starting simple with something like "Mare Island" +Flag as your search terms. When the search results come back, scroll down the left-hand column until you find the "completed listings" link and click on it. When you reach the "completed listings" page, the "SOLD" items prices will be listed in GREEN and the unsold items prices will be listed in black. The prices listed in black are what sellers were asking, and the prices in GREEN were what buyers were willing to pay. BIG difference! Anybody can list whatever they want at whatever price they want, but the "Market Value" is decided by buyers and the prices they choose to pay. Use the Flag Size chart above to get a better idea as to what size Flag are and have been for sale.

    One final note before I "sign-off" for the evening (or now, morning)... One of the many, many things I learned about Flags and Flag Collectors here in these Forums is that, most of the time, size matters. Not exactly in the way you might think that size would matter. You see, when it comes to collecting Flags, SMALLER Flags are usually "BETTER" and more desirable and more "collectable" to a collector because they can own and, more importantly, store more Flags. A Flag collector only has so much room to store their treasures. Room to store only 100 different "big" Flags... OR... the same size room to store 1,000 different small Flags? See?

    Since your initial posting about your Mare Island Ensign is already two months old (March 18th to May 18th, 2018), and you were in the process of potentially trading it, I'm assuming that you probably already traded it or, perhaps, sold it..... or, maybe not.

    Thank You for bringing your Flag-related question to our Forums!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.

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