eBay FLAG : Dettra "Burial Flag"

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by Robin Hickman, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Greetings ! :D

    This morning I ran across an American Flag on eBay that puzzled me. It was/is listed as, "DETTRAS 48 STAR U.S. Flag 3'6" X 6'8" WWII, Mint/NM".

    eBay Item #eBay#260585802475

    I realized that the Flag's size (3'6" x 6'8") corresponded very closely with a U.S. Navy Size #9 U.S. Ensign.

    But what puzzled me was the main picture of the Flag :

    FLAG :

    The Stars are UPSIDE DOWN !!! :eek:

    The item's description is as follows :

    48 Star American Flag
    World War II Burial Flag
    DETTRAS Flag Products
    Bull Dog Bunting
    48 STAR U.S. Flag Measures 3'6" X 6'8"
    NR. MINT
    No holes, ripes or tears.
    Check out the pictures.

    There are TWO more pictures. One of the header showing the Flag's size and the other of the header showing a "VETERANS ADMIN." stamp.

    SIZE :

    V.A. :

    GO see for yourselves :


    Although I may think that the upside down Stars were a mistake, maybe W-A-Y back when the V.A. ordered them like that so as to differentiate them as "BURIAL" or "INTERMENT" Flags ???


    Robin Hickman :cool:
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
  2. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    That flag was made for Tea Party Members who want to fly their flag upside-down in protest but still want the stars in the proper orientation! :p

    That is really an odd flag. The way the canton is inserted into the 4th red stripe is even more unusual than the upside down stars. It is easy to see how the piece of blue fabric could mistakenly be placed upside down, but there is no way that part of that red stripe should show - that's just not how flags are made.

  3. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Greetings !

    Hi, Nick ! :D

    I was SO focussed on the upside-down Stars, that I overlooked the problem with the Union being sewn INTO the fourth red stripe !!! :eek:

    I wonder what the "backside" of the Flag looks like?

    I suppose if one were making some kind of "repair" on an older sewn Flag and had to remove the Canton (Union) to do so, that there is the faint possibility that it could get mis-sewn back into the Flag upside down.

    Or maybe somebody tried to replace the Flag's original 50 Star Union with an older 48 Star Union in an attempt to make the Flag more "valuable"? :eek:

    A Dettra Flag Company "Factory Second"? :cool:

    Maybe we should ask the seller to post more pictures of his Flag ???

    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
  4. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Odd, the aspect ratio of the flag does not look like 3.6" x 6.8" at all.
  5. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    HOWDY ! :D

    I've "magnified" the Flag's photo a couple of times to look more closely at the header. I have as yet been totally unable to spot any indication of the Dettra stamps near the upper grommet as they are shown in the second picture. :eek:

    Admittedly, I do NOT have the greatest photo editing software, but I would think that I would at least be able to spot a darker "shadow" where the Dettra stamp is supposed to be!!! :eek:

    Oh, well . . . . . :cool:

    Robin "I'll Believe It When I See It" Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
  6. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    You are right! I have one of these Dettra 3.6.x 6.8 flags and the stars are appliqued but in the photo the stars look printed. What is going on here?
  7. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    I am going to call this guy out and send him a question. I will let you know what he says.
  8. coasterville

    coasterville Member

    I think its pretty clear not all the photos are from the same flag. Look at the photo of the Detra manufacturer stamp, and look at the embroidery of the star you can just barely see. Note the visible tip of the star gets wider away from the grommet hole, the only way that can happen is if the star is right side up,not upside down as the overall picture suggests.

    I'd tread very lightly on this one if you were going for collector purposes. If on the other hand you want a 48 star flag and don't care that it looks a bit "off" then go ahead. Just be aware resale value is limited unless you can authenticate that the flag company allowed a defective product to be sold.
  9. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    I got an answer from the seller and he said:
    "Stars are sown onto the canton. Couldn't get a good pic so I used a stock for the flag. The others are actual pics of the printing on the flag"
    I might bid on it since it is a G-spec flag from the VA.
  10. jstep19

    jstep19 New Member

    I also have a Bulldog Bunter Dettras flag with 48 stars. Also, it has Veterans Admin. printed along the side. Can anyone explain the significance of the Vet. Admin. stamp? I believe this flag came from my grandfather or great grandfather. I'm just interested in finding out where it may have come from initially. Thanks
  11. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    The Veterans Administration, predecessor of today's Department of Veteran's Affairs, is the agency that provides burial flags for military funerals. The VA would have had a contract with Dettra Flags to provide internment flags, and Dettra would have marked the flags with the VA name along with their own label.

  12. jstep19

    jstep19 New Member

    Thank you very much for the quick response. It was very helpful
  13. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    The VA is the government agency that takes care of military veteran's benefits. One of those benefits is to provide a flag to the family of the former service member. But those flags are 5' x9'.5" and not 3.6" x 6.8" so this flag is not a burial flag but maybe just the agency flag with their stamp on it? I have a 50 star 3.6" x 6.8" stamped with "Property of NPS" (National Park Service). I seen more than a few of these 48 star VA flags on ebay but never seen a 50 star VA flag stamped. How about anyone out there?
  14. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Agency stamps/stencils were apparently fairly common during the 48-star era. I have a little 48-star sewn cotton flag marked:

    "ANNIN & CO."
    "2.37 X 4.50 FT."

    It is about the smallest sewn flag in official 1x1.9 proportions I have ever seen.

    And I agree that just because a flag is marked VA it is not necessarily a burial flag, nor is every 5ft x 9.5ft a burial flag, but the chances are if it is marked VA and measures 5x9.5 ft., is cotton in "mint condition" it is probably a burial flag.

  15. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hey Nick, could you post a photo of that flag. I would love to see it.
  16. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    The photos I took are too large for the forum and frankly I'm just too lazy to downsize them. :eek: I did post them to my Flickr photostream, however. I shot an overall view of the flag, plus a close up of the heading:

    Flickr: nicka21045's Photostream

    Just doubleclik on any photo to see it enlarged.

    You are welcome to look at my other flag photos as well. The most recent lot includes some Japanese and Chinese silk embroideries made for visiting sailors in the early part of the last century.

  17. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Great collection Nick! My favorites are the 13 star boat flags the wool FOTW. I bet you have a story for each one.
  18. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

  19. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Thanks for posting my pictures, Robin!

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