Flag with gold stars?

Discussion in 'American Flag History' started by Michael, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. Josey

    Josey New Member

    Okay, here you go Robin. Here are a few pics of my "Gold Star Flag".

    This flag has 48 gold stars on one side and 48 white stars on the other side.

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  2. Josey

    Josey New Member

    OOps! I posted the 2nd pic twice. Here is the 3rd pic I wanted to share.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL ! ! ! :D :D :D :D


    Robin

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  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Josey ! :D


    Those are some really GREAT pictures ! :eek:


    I'm no "expert" about these things, but it looks to me that the sewing on the appliqued Stars was professionally done using a machine. The stitches are so even and precise!

    We DO have some resident experts and it will be interesting to see what they might have to say about your "Gold Star" Flag!

    HEY, NICK !!! :D
    HEY, PETER !!! :D

    Waddaya THINK ???


    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  5. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Josey,
    I concur- excellent photo documentation. They are clear enough to show the difference in how the stars were made. The "gold" stars were die-stamped from sized cotton material so they have sharp points and crisp corners. The white stars on the other side have rounded interior angles. This is because the die cut stars were glued onto the front of the canton, and a plain sheet of cotton was placed on the back side. Then the stars on the front were sewn to the blue canton and white backing sheet. Finally, the non-star area of the white sheet on the back was cut away leaving 48 white stars sewn perfectly opposite the stars on the front. (This information came from Bill Spangler, late president of the Dettra Flag Company who gave me a spectacular tour of their plant about 20 years ago.)

    I still maintain that the stars on front aged differently than the stars on the back because the cotton was not prepared the same way - the sizing of the die-cut stars caused them to discolor to "gold" while stars on the back that were once part of the plain white sheet of cotton bunting did not discolor.

    I admit there are some "golden star flags" that have only some of the stars on one side that are gold. I can only assume that the die cut stars came from different batches that were chemically treated differently.

    Nick
     
  6. Josey

    Josey New Member

    Nick,

    Thank you for the information on how the stars are sewn on. I did not know that.

    I do have a question. If the material for the "gold" stars was sized to stiffen them up (which I agree with since it makes perfect sense) would it then be possible for the sizing to leach against the other materials on the flag?

    The reason I ask is, when I received this flag it was not folded properly and apparently not stored in the best of conditions either. Where the "gold" stars made contact with the stripes it dis-colored them with the stars pattern. I had just assumed the dye had leached.

    Josey

    On another note. To everyone, this is a great web site and forum for learning about our flag. By searching here I have found out information about my staggered 48 star flag and hope to find out about my 48 star Navy/Marine issue flag. If I don't turn up an information by searching here. I will post some photos and pick your brains.
     
  7. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Josey, Please go ahead and post your photos anyway. We will all enjoy them.
     
  8. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    HEY, NICK !!! :D
    HEY, PETER !!! :D

    Waddaya THINK ???

    I have no expertise when it comes to materials and manufacturing techniques, and I bow to Nick's. However, I do have a question about the information in one of Josey's earlier posts:

    The U.S. contracted with european tailors and seamstresses to make the flags that they knew would be needed. It was wrongly assumed through bad or mis-communication that these flags would have gold stars on them because of thier knowledge of Gold Star Mothers. . . The U.S. caught the mistake early in production but opted to use the flags with the gold stars anyway because of the short supply.

    Josey, do you recall what the source(s) were for this information? We have seen several similar explanations in this and other threads, but so far nobody has identified any actual references. To be honest, this story sounds a bit improbable, especially the idea the European seamstresses would be familar with the Gold Star flag program.

    One has to be open minded, of course. However, until we can identify actual sources for the fact that flags really were manufactured with gold stars, I'm more inclined to credit Nick's position that the "gold" is the result of discoloration. Other explanations sound more like post hoc speculation to me.

    Peter Ansoff
     
  9. Josey

    Josey New Member

    Peter,
    I found the information a year or two ago via the internet. A fellow had one of these flags where the gold stars alternated with the white ones. And the information he had seemed plausible at the time. No proof, just what he stated. Now, after conversing with you folks here I am starting to have my doubts that these flags were made like this from the start and that they have indeed just aged differently over time.

    In one of my previous posts I asked about the gold color leaching on to the stripes from being folded the way it was for years before I took possession of it. Do you think this could have been caused by the sizing placed on those particular stars and as they turned color whatever was against them turned as well?

    Josey
     
  10. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Sizing turning white cotton stars a "gold" (tan or dark cream) color over time and then bleeding some of their "color" (surface sizing) onto adjoining fabric folded up against them for a l-o-n-g time ???


    Hmmmm..... :cool:


    My first un-educated guess would be that it was NOT the heat, but the HUMIDITY. :eek:

    It's just a guess, and an uneducated one at that. :cool:


    That's my story and I'm sticking to it !!! :D



    Robin
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  11. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    One of the things that I'm curious about the Gold Stars on Josey's Flag is what kind of THREAD was used to sew the "sized" Stars to the Union? :cool:

    The thread is still a prisine white while the Stars are "golden".


    Maybe the thread used was thoroughly soaked in "Sun-Block" (SPF one million!) before it was used to attach the stars ??? :D :D


    Just wondering . . . . . :rolleyes:


    Robin
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  12. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Josey,
    Are there any stamps or tags to indicate the flag manufacturer? The flag looks absolutely pristine. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Michael
     
  13. Josey

    Josey New Member

    Michael,
    I will look at the flag later today. I don't recall seeing any manufacturers stamps or lables. The flag is in excellent condition except where the stars bled thier color onto part of the flag.

    I will also post a photo of the area where the gold stars bled color onto the stripes.

    Josey
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  14. Josey

    Josey New Member

    Okay,
    I looked the flag over and there are no makers marks or lables of any kind.

    Also, since I had the flag out of the case again to take a photo of the area where the color from the stars bled on to the stripes I really looked over the coloring on the gold stars. The color on these stars seem to be far to uniform in color to have aged that way. I would expect aging would have resulted in different shades were some stars would have had more or less contact with the air or other parts of the flag. So, I'm just not sure about sizing therory causing the color change. But, until someone comes up with the difinitive proof on these flags we are just going to have to use our best judgement when looking at these flags.

    Josey

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  15. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Josey,
    I have another WWII era flag that I believe supports the "discoloration over time" theory. The flag is similar to this one:
    [​IMG]
    The copy for "ARMY" "NAVY" and the "E" are soft cotton and still white, while the "white" stars have discolored to a golden brown like the stars on your flag.

    Back to your flag. I have seen 48-star flags on eBay that exhibit the same discoloration transfer to the white stripes as yours. Or did you buy that one from eBay?
    Nick
     
  16. Josey

    Josey New Member

    Nick,

    No, this flag was not purchased on ebay. I purchased this flag locally along with the mans Purple Heart medal and the medals documentation. This man was KIA in Europe on June 8, 1944 two days after D-Day. So the theroy of the European made flags fit in this instance.

    On the flag you have that is dis-colored, is the dis-coloring even or is it dis-coloring unevenly?

    Josey
     
  17. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    The two "white" stars have discolored evenly to a golden brown, much the same as yours. The reason I asked about the origin of your flag is that I have seen a 48-star flag with golden stars on eBay that showed the exact same type of discoloration to the white stripes where the now-golden stars rested against them for more than half-a-century.

    Nick
     
  18. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    All,

    This is a fascinating discussion, and it's occured to me that there is another angle that we might want to consider. Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that there were US flags with gold stars made during World War II, either in Europe or in the US. Question: How would the gold stars actually have been made for those flags? As Nick has already pointed out, actual gold would have to be either painted on or embroidered with gold thread. "Gold" on dyed or printed fabric is usually some shade of yellow. Are the non-white stars on flags like Josey's consistent with them originally being yellow? Would yellow be likely to age into the yellow-brown that we're seeing on these flags?

    Peter A.
     
  19. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Earlier I was joking around a little bit about how WHITE the thread is that was used to sew the "Gold" Stars onto the blue Union.

    I don't know what kind of difference there is between the type of thread used, the Stars, and the Stripes & Union of the Flag.

    WHY has there been the apparent "discoloration" of the Stars and/or "transfer" (in the shape of the Stars) to some of the Stripes and maybe the Union, BUT the thread used to attach the "Gold Stars" remains a pristine WHITE?

    Peter's theory that the "Gold Stars" were originally dyed a "non-white" color may help explain why the Stars are a darker color than the thread used to attach them to the Union.


    Or maybe not, UNLESS the thread used is a man-made material such as NYLON.


    Who knows ??? :cool:


    Robin Hickman
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  20. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Robin,
    I think Peter was saying that if the flagmaker's intention was to make a flag with "gold stars" the stars would have started out as yellow (heraldic "gold"), which even today would be very much brighter than the brownish-golden stars we see on Josey's flag. And if so, the sewing thread used by U.S. flagmakers to stitch yellow stars to the canton would very likely have been yellow as well. And Josey's flag shows very white stitches as you pointed out.

    And in my opinion there would be no reason to use yellow/gold stars on one side and white on the other. I am sure you could make up a reason for doing that, but based on what I know about flag design and flag production that just isn't done. A one-of-a-kind, custom made flag like a Service Flag for a large company or a city would have whatever number of blue and gold stars that were ordered, but all of the 48-star flags with "golden" stars that I have seen are mass production models and, in my opinion, the color of the stars today is just an accident of the manufacturing process.

    Nick
     

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