Flag ID

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by pataber, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. pataber

    pataber New Member

    I noticed something odd in a WW2 memorabilia collection in France. I tried to figure it out on my own with no luck. Below is the back story from a blog that I frequent and link to pics of the collection.

    Hi Ernie, Also, in Cleurie, a small village in the Vosges area, near Nancy, I met a local in a bar who introduced me to different "eau de vie", which I methodically sampled. We were getting pretty drunk and somehow we started talking about hunting, guns and millitary collectibles and at one point he invited me over to his cousin's place to drink some more and take a look at what he claimed to be a pretty nice collection of WW2 stuff. Well he wasn't lying nor did he want to drug me and steal my kidneys... Here's the nicest personal WW2 collection I have yet to see, it's hosted on my webserver. Cheers! Keep your site rocking and caring for our boys overseas! Phil

    The pics of interest are #36 and #29. The flag on the ceiling in pic #36 has 48 stars, accurate arrangement. The flag in picture #29 has 23 stars showing on three rows. It may be 24 with the bottom right one not being visible/worn off.
    "Many people are not aware that for the first 135-year existence of the Stars & Stripes, there was no official way to configure its stars. It was not until 1912 that an official design was adopted, following an executive order of President Taft" Found that quote on this site during my research.
    That begs the question, What is the deal with this flag #29? If it is a 48 star, it is not made the way it's supposed to be, (pic #36). If it is a 46 star, it not accurate for WW2 or WW1. My guess is that it is a 46 star, but how did it end up in France? The 46 star flag was only used from NOV 1907 to JAN 1912, a little over 4 years, although it certainly looks battle worn. For some reason I notice trivial stuff like this and it drives me crazy trying to figure it out.
    Any help solving this would be appreciated, Pat
     
  2. flagcollector

    flagcollector New Member

    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for sharing this with the forum. You struck on an interesting area of American Flag collecting. The flags shown from your family friend in France are Liberation flags made in France (they were also made in most places where US troops liberated peoples). Collectively, they're a fascinating subset of American Flags. They have great symbolic meaning, because they were made by people in a very poigniant international display of appreciation for the great sacrifices Americans made to liberate them from oppression. The thought behind why they were made and what they represent is as stirring a story of what the American Flag represents as any. They are also beautiful because of the great variation in their construction. The flags were made from whatever material was at hand, so they are often very folky and have a charming "make do" quality about them. It was also very common for them to have fewer (or even more) than the 48 stars that were official at the time of the war. That's because while many people know what the flag looks like in general, they may not have known the detail of the correct star count. So often these flags have unusual star counts or configurations, which is the case with the flag you point out in the pictures. Regardless of which war it was made for (WWI or WWII), 48 stars would have been official for either. Most often, the flags are WWII vintage, primarily because of the dramatic nature of the libration from Nazi Germany that started on D-Day at Normandy. These flags are still cherished in France and are still a reminder of the ties between our countries, and are much sought after by collectors of American Flags.

    Best,
    Anthony

    PS. Attached is picture of a small Liberation Flag from my personal collection. It's a small parade flag on an old worn dowel, made from a single piece of striped upholstery fabric. The blue canton is painted with an oil-based paint, and the stars (though accurate at 48) are spots of white paint. The maker tried to form some of the stars into star shapes, but others are just circles because of the difficulty of the task. You can imagine the person or child waving it as the American tanks and troops passed by.
     

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