Flag Provenance and Tracking Idea

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by kirshmed, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. kirshmed

    kirshmed New Member

    I've been thinking a lot lately about the provenance of flags and the stories they tell. When one acquires a new antique/vintage flag, often the flag is accompanied by a verbal story or at very best an undateable document describing its story, but usually that's it.

    Hopefully these flags we collect will be around for 200+ more years. Are we at a time in history where we should be tracking and documenting more thoroughly? Would you utilize a site where you'd go and essentially 'register' your flag, receive a tag in the mail, and pair the flag with that tag in all sales and advertising?

    IE: James sells a flag to steve. James acquired the flag at a mass auction and wants to sell it off. Theres a tag attached to the bottom grommet with a serial number. Enter the serial number on a site, info come up that states:

    34 star flag, wool construction. Likely constructed in 1863
    First owner 1863 - unknown. Campbell juniper, 1st mars regiment.
    New owner 2003-2018: Charlie chickentart. Physician, Boston Mass
    New owner 2018: James liverworts. Antique collector

    Steve would then go to the site, update any info, and forever keep the tag with the flag. Thoughts?
  2. Dexter Cole

    Dexter Cole Member

    I discovered that after a while I forget what I know about a particular flag. So...what I did was buy a box of those round tags with the metal edges, removed the ring and replaced it with a safety pin. I found them at Walmart so they're available. Then I used an extra composition book as a log. I pinned the tag to the corner of the flag with a number. Then I logged #1 in my composition book with a description and what verbal provenance that I can get. Not all flags that I buy need to be logged but those I do I try and put in as much info as I can get. We are only the temporary caretakers of these things.

    If I buy a piece on ebay then I wait until I receive the item. Once it's in hand I ask the seller for any history. About 50% of the time there IS history or the name of a ship that I include in the log. The reason I wait until I have the piece in hand is to avoid a seller changing their minds once they start considering that they are selling Dad's things. The point is, always ask.

    Finally, a log helps you quickly go thru your flag collection so you can decide if you really need another 45 star flag.

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