Mare Island, No. 12

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by digi-shots, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. digi-shots

    digi-shots New Member

    First time poster here and "first" flag!

    Here are a couple of pics of a flag that I just got. From what little research I've done on it, it appears to be an early US Navy, Mare Island, Ensign flag, size no. 12 measuring about 17"x30".

    I do not see any stampings to indicate the date... can anyone guesstimate when it might have been made or used?



  2. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi digi-shots and welcome,
    I have the exact same flag as yours! Mare Island was a Naval Shipyard near San Francisco that was decomissioned in 1996 after 142 years of service. But during WW2 it was a very busy place supplying the Pacific Fleet. From the beginning of the Republic, U.S. Naval Shipyards usually made their own flags on location or had them made locally. I have about a half dozen MI flags with the typical stenciled ensign size and "Mare Island" or just "MI" on the canvas header. A few of my MI flags even have a date too. To answer your questions I would dare to say your flag along with mine were mid WW2 - late WW2. Here is my theory, after the War started brass was being collected to use for shell casings and what not. Zinc coated steel grommets were substituted for the brass grommets during this period, hence the rust issue (from salt water) you see on the grommets. Size Number 12 ensigns were the smallest flags made and typically used on small naval craft such as a launch. Nice flag!

    MI_1.jpg MI_2.jpg
  3. digi-shots

    digi-shots New Member


    Thanks for the reply!

    I had similar thoughts about the date based on the rusted zinc gromments, as brass ones were normally used. I wonder why it's not dated? Were the small size 12's usually dated or not?

    Do you have any photos of vintage WWII small crafts showing a similar flag?

    Thanks for your help!
  4. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    You know, I don't think I have any photos with that particular flag. I will double check. The dating seems arbitrary.
  5. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

  6. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Thanks Nick, I totally forgot about PT-109. Here is a poor photo with possibly the same flag flying.


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