It looks old

Discussion in 'American Flag History' started by ohioweaver, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. ohioweaver

    ohioweaver New Member

    My deceased husband kept this flag, but I don't know why. It has 24 printed stars and only 7 wide stripes. It is about 5 ft. long and 21 in. wide with two gromets in the top band. My guess is that is was used somewhere as a display banner or decoration. I can take a pic and send it if someone wishes to help identify it? My husband was in the Coast Guard in WW 2 and served to the end of the war. He was stationed in New York and then in Iceland towards the end of the war. Thank you Write to me:
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    GREETINGS, Ohio Weaver !!!

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site Forums !

    It sounds like you have a VERY interesting Flag or Banner in your possession!

    QUOTE : "My deceased husband kept this flag, but I don't know why. It has 24 printed stars and only 7 wide stripes. It is about 5 ft. long and 21 in. wide with two gromets in the top band. My guess is that is was used somewhere as a display banner or decoration. I can take a pic and send it if someone wishes to help identify it? My husband was in the Coast Guard in WW 2 and served to the end of the war. He was stationed in New York and then in Iceland towards the end of the war."

    YES!!! PLEASE DO post pictures of your Flag/Banner!!! Take one of the entire Flag/Banner (IF you can), and a few close-ups so that the construction and condition of it can be better assessed. It will also help us help you to identify it if you can tell us what material(s) the Flag (Union, Stars, and Stripes) is made of. THANK YOU !!!

    Given its dimensions, "5 ft. long and 21 in. wide" (60" x 21") it seems as though your "guess" that it WAS used as a "display banner or decoration" might be "spot on".

    Given its components as you described them, "24 printed stars and only 7 wide stripes", it most certainly isn't a "regulation" American Flag because it doesn't have the required 13 stripes. So what else do we know?

    Missouri was the 24th State admitted to the Union. The 24 Star Flag was in use for 14 years: from July 4, 1822 to July 3, 1836.


    [ Side Note : The 24 Star American Flag is also the one that became known by the nickname : "Old Glory". ]

    You said your Flag/Banner has two grommets. One of the MANY things I've learned while being a member here for the past three months, is that metal (usually brass) grommets did NOT come into general usage until around the time of the American Civil War (1860-65).

    So, now we know that a 24 Star Flag that was "official" from 1822-36 has two grommets that weren't in use until approximately 1860-65, which is over 30 years later. Which leads us to some interesting possibilities.

    #1 It is a non-standard "replica" Flag/Banner that was not made until after the Civil War. If so, then perhaps it was made to commemorate or celebrate the centennial of Missouri's statehood in 1921: August 10, 1821 to August 10, 1921.

    #2 While it MIGHT be some kind of "replica" Flag or banner, or maybe even an "original" 24 Star Flag/Banner that was "retro-fitted" with grommets well after its original date of manufacture, that does NOT explain WHY there are ONLY 7 stripes instead of the usual 13.

    UNLESS..... The "bottom" part of the 24 Stars & 13 Stripes Flag (original or replica) was damaged beyond repair and the bottom SIX Stripes were removed and it was re-hemmed along the bottom of the Union and the Seventh Stripe, re-grommeted, and made to hang VERTICALLY so that it looked something like THIS :


    OR..... Maybe it's just an oddball, patriotic creation of someone "way back when" ???

    Ohio Weaver, PLEASE take a few pictures of your Flag and post them back here! Let us know what type of materials the Flag is made of, and tell us anything else that you can remember about its "history"!

    THANK YOU !!!

    Robin Hickman
  3. ohioweaver

    ohioweaver New Member

    Thanks Robin
    The material is 100% cotton. I sent you one pic to your e-mail that I made before because I can't currently make a full size one. Like you said, I believe this to be only some sort of decorative banner. I now have saved this web site among my Favorites so I can check back now and then. Thank you Diane Marshall
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello (again), Ohio Weaver !

    I got the photo of your Flag that you attached to the e-mail. I don't think it is of much help here as it is just of the "Star Field" in the Union. I'll get it uploaded here so everyone can see it.

    BTW : Did you see the "speculative" 24 Star & 7 Stripe Banner/Flag I created in my first post? If so, does it look ANYTHING like yours ???

    Let us know !


    Robin Hickman
  5. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    A photo of Ohio Weaver's 24 Star & 7 Stripe Flag :

    Robin Hickman
  6. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Everybody !

    I received an e-mail from Ohio Weaver with a photo of her Flag attached. I am going to post both the new photo and her e-mail here. THEN, I'm going to try to post my e-mail reply to her, HERE !

    In a message dated 6/9/2009 9:19:33 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,

    Ok, here's the pic and notice the gromets are at the TOP and also the sides DO NOT have ANY stitching so this item is complete as you see it. I can do any CLOSE UPS that you may wish to see? Diane


    Now, I'll try to get my response to her posted here...

    Robin Hickman
  7. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Again !

    I'm going to try to Copy/Paste my e-mail reply to Ohio Weaver (Diane). I think the text will copy okay, but I'm NOT sure about the pictures.

    Here We Go . . . . .


    Subject:Re: Pictures Of Your 24-Star & 7-Stripe Flag -- Posted @ USA Flag Site (3)
    Date:6/9/2009 12:50:42 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time

    Hi, Diane !

    Thank You VERY much for the pic! I'll post it at the USA Flag Site after I send this to you. In fact, I'll probably post your e-mail there too, so that other members (far better qualified to help you than I) can not only see the picture but answer your questions and ask you their own.

    I'm NOT a mind-reader so I can't tell you what kind of questions they'll have or what type of "close-up" photos they might want you to post on the site. BUT..... Based on the type of information and photos they've requested of others, I'll go ahead and at least list a few of the things they look for.

    1. They usually want to know how much you know about the Flag's "history".
    2. They usually want to know what size the Flag is and what materials it is made of.
    3. IF the Stars are sewn onto the Flag's Union, they usually want to know "how" (ie. "Hand" or "Machine" sewn, what kind of stitch was used, etc.).
    4. Is there anything written on any part of the Flag?

    Photos : Usually at least ONE of the whole flag. Sometimes two (one for each half) if you want to show a little more detail.
    Close-Ups : It varies, but usually anything that shows what you might have written about the Flag. Such as : 2-3 Stars (to show what they are made of and how they were attached to the blue Union), Header & Grommet (shows construction details), the "Fly End" (construction and current state), ANYTHING written anywhere on the flag, and anything else that might be of "interest. Usually if anyone wants to see a close-up photo of any particular part of the flag, they'll ask you!

    Keeping in mind that I am NOT an "expert", I've managed to come to a pair of thoughts that are in direct opposition to one another.

    #1 Judging by the "arrangement" of the Stars, it looks like it was made to be a Banner and not a Flag. (The Stars are arranged VERTICALLY in four rows of six Stars each, which is appropriate for a vertically hung banner. A vertically hung Flag would have them lined up in six rows of four Stars each.)
    #2 Judging by the way the 5-pointed Stars are "pointing", it looks like it was made to be a Flag, and later turned into a Banner. (The 5-pointed Stars on an American Flag almost ALWAYS point "UP" in relation to the way the Flag was meant to be displayed. In most cases, that would be "horizontal".)

    I'll try to put your photo and my "mock-up" side by side so you can see the difference in the way the Stars are arranged and which way they are "pointing".
    OhioWeavers24Star7StripeFlag-FullLength-Small.jpg USFlag-24Stars.jpg

    Can you SEE the difference between the two ?

    I'll go ahead and make the posting over in the forums. I suggest that a faster means of communication would be in the Forums where more people will see entries. BTW : It is a VERY good idea to NOT put your e-mail address in any of your posts !



    Hopefully, everything will copy/Paste correctly and we'll ALL be "on the same page" !

    Robin Hickman

    PS. The two photos in the e-mail did NOT "paste" into this posting, so I uploaded the pics from my computer and placed them side-by-side like they were in th e-mail.
  8. ohioweaver

    ohioweaver New Member

    The only thing I know about this is my husband who passed away in 2002 had it. He was born in Scotland as was his only brother and parents so there is NO connection to anything Missouri. The only other mark is up at the top on the back side of the part that has the metal grommets on it and that is a STAMPED 6 on it. No other date. Maybe that number is a manufacturer mark? I can take a pic of the two tiny holes that do not resemble damage but looks like it wore out. If anyone needs to see that, just write to me ok?
    Diane Marshall
  9. pathfind3r

    pathfind3r New Member

    Hi everyone, this is my first post. Good to be here. Nice to see good old flags nowadays. Independence day is coming :)
  10. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hi, OhioWeaver (Diane) !

    I'm not sure if it is "bad" news or not, but I think the "mystery" of your 24-Star Banner might be "solved".

    After hitting a dead end and not knowing which way to go, I sent out a couple of "private messages". I sent the first one yesterday to NAVA1974 (Nick) and read his answer this morning. After not being able to quite figure out what he was talking about, I sent a PM to Peter Ansoff.

    After re-reading Nick's answer for the fourth (or fifth?) time, it slowly (s-l-o-w-l-y) dawned on me that anyone who would cut off the bottom six stripes of the Flag, would most likely be willing to do just about ANYTHING to an American Flag (including removing HALF the Stars)!

    BELOW is a copy of Nick's reply, followed by my attempt to "slice-and-dice" a graphic rendition of a 48 Star Flag and turn it into a 24 Star banner that looks almost EXACTLY like yours!


    Re: Hey, Nick! Can You Help with This?
    That is a "pulldown" from the mid 20th century made from 48 star flag fabric. I have seen former 48 star flags that had the first two columns of stars cut off and a new heading crudely added sold for hundreds of dollars as Civil War flags. Simple ignorance on the part of both buyer and seller. Probably made for 1961-1965 reenactor and got some genuine Civil War battlefield dirt on it.
    Nick Artimovich

    Originally Posted by Robin Hickman
    Hey, Nick !

    Can you take a look at this thread, "It Looks Old" :

    I knew I was in over my head when I first replied to it, and I'm giving it my best shots. I'm trying to get her to make her replies HERE instead of sending me e-mails.

    I think it's kind of an intriguing case, BUT I don't know enough to be of any REAL assistance to her.

    I don't know if you have the time or the interest. I just thought I'd ask!



    Like I said, I couldn't quite figure out what Nick was talking about UNTIL I decided that there was more than one way to "alter" a Flag and started playing around with a 48 Star Flag graphic (much the same way I did with the 24 Star Flag earlier in this thread) to "prove" it. Notice which way the Stars are "pointed".


    48 Star FLAG :

    48 Star FLAG Mirrored (Left to Right) & Rotated (90 degrees CCW) :

    48 Star FLAG Mirrored & Rotated, Cropped Stripes (6 LONG Ones) :

    48 Star FLAG Mirrored & Rotated, Cropped Stripes, and Cropped Stars (Top 24) :

    As you can see, Diane, my end product looks almost EXACTLY like the one in your picture. It even has the Stars "pointed" in the same direction!

    I'll go ahead and post this, then see if I can post your picture plus my "end" graphic side-by-side for comparison!

    BRB !

    Robin Hickman
  11. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Again !!!

    Here are the pictures of Diane's Flag and my 48-Star Flag "altered" into a 24-Star Banner "Side-By-Side" for Comparinson :

    OhioWeavers24Star7StripeFlag-FullLength-Small.jpg Copy of 48StarFlag-Mirrored&Rotated-CroppedStripes&Stars.jpg

    SEE ???

    So, while I might THINK that the "mystery" is solved, I don't really know for sure!

    Robin Hickman

  12. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Robin. Sorry you had to dissect my note. However my first statement about the pulldown was independent of my 36-star flag reference. Pulldowns were sold with 24 stars, 36 stars, 40 stars, all cut from material from the 48-star flag era. They consisted of the top section of white stars on blue, with three, five, or seven red and white stripes hanging below.

    My second reference was to that same printed 48-star flag material, but this time the original item WAS a 48 star flag that someone altered to a 36-star and 13 strip flag, as if it was from the ACW period.
    I'll try to be less cryptic in the future.

  13. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hi, Nick ! :D
    (Hi, Peter!) ( :D )

    I think the biggest problem I had was, initially not separating the two distinct parts of Nick's note. The "secondary" problem was the "why & how" a 48 Star Flag was involved in a 24 Star flag "problem". Then, after all that, it was trying to figure out how they "did it".

    That's where my initial curiosity and observations of Diane's Flag/Banner ("Pulldown") came in handy. It seemed to me that her Flag/Banner (Pulldown) had conflicting characteristics, a little bit of both "flag" and "banner".

    That's when I started working on the 48 Star Flag and the ensuing "Mirror, Rotate, and Crop" (slicing & dicing) stuff. After finishing it up and seeing the resemblence between what Diane has and what I came up with, I was pretty sure that Nick was right and our little "mystery" was solved! :eek:

    So, after hearing from both of you, I take it that the "consensus" of opinion is that Diane's (OhioWeaver) Flag/Banner is most likely 1950s-ish 48 Star flag that's been altered/modified into somewhat of a replica of an American Civil War era 24-Star "Pulldown" ???

    YES ? :confused:

    Robin "Waitin' On The Levee, Waitin' On The Levee, Waitin' On The Robert E. Lee" Hickman
  14. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Rather than thinking that Diane's textile was made to resemble a 24-star era pulldown, I believe that the design intentionally varied from the current 48-star flag so as not to violate the Flag Code. Pulldowns were just one form of bunting invented to avoid conflicing with the Flag Code's prohibition against using the flag as drapery or festooning. If it didn't have 48 stars you couldn't be accused of misusing the flag. If it only had 24 stars it was just decorative bunting.
  15. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member


    OK !

    I'l send Diane a link to this thread then.

    Robin Hickman
  16. ohioweaver

    ohioweaver New Member

    Since I have been a weaver of cloth and a sewer for over 60 yrs. I can positively tell you that this banner HAS NOT been cut anywhere. On both sides one can see the end of the warp and weft of the cotton woven cloth. There isn't ANY seam or hem and knowing what a selvedge edge should look like, this is a pure selvedge edge. And that selvedge edge is at the top where the PRINTED stars are as well as all along both sides where the stripes are. At the bottom is a turned and stitched hem. The star field is a printed separate piece that is sewn to the top of the stripes.
  17. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    No, no, no, no, no. That's not what I am trying to say. I must have screwed up my messages.

    YOUR textile is not altered. It was mass produced probably by Annin or Dettra in the 1930's, 40's, or 50's as a pulldown, a piece of decorative bunting made as a SUBSTITUTE for an American flag when you want to have patriotic decorations. Because the Flag Code prohibits the use of THE FLAG as a decoration, flagmakers used THE SAME STAR AND STRIPE FABRIC that they made flags with, but used cantons with FEWER THAN 48 Stars so they would not be accused of making "American flags" to be used as decorations, thus violating the Flag Code.

    My other comment RELATED to this use of printed 48star flag fabric, was about a full sized 48-star flag that was made in the 1940's or 50's and altered by cutting off the first six to eight inches of the hoist end so that the remaining flag only showed 36 stars. A new heading was crudely added and the flag was used in reenactments in the 1960's. I saw this flag at a Civil War Collector's show in the 1990's being sold as a genuine Civil War period flag. The material was identical in color, feel, stitching, etc. to several printed 48 star flags I own.


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