Questions about dating flags

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by CLeBlanc, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. CLeBlanc

    CLeBlanc New Member

    Just got a 48 star flag from eBay and I will be posting some more thorough questions when I receive it. Right now I have a few though. I am a reenactor and History major at Texas A&M University and one of the time periods I portray is WWII GI. The flag I got is a Bulldog Bunting mad by Dettras Flag Products. It is a all cotton flag with sewn stars. I'm hoping it is a WWII acceptable flag, but probably won't be able to tell until I am able to post pics of it and answer more specific questions later this week. My main question right now is about my buddies flag. It has embroidered stars. When did they start embroidering stars on 48 star flags?

    Thanks

    Chase
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  2. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Embroider stars on US flags were somewhat rare in the early part of the 20th century but after WWII, especially in the late 1950s you would start to see them on some 48 star flags but most of the major flag companies didn't completely make the jump until the 1960s with the smaller flags (2'x3', 3'x5' and 4'x6') first then the larger flags later (5'x8', 5'x9'.5"). That is the reason you see more appliqued 50 star casket flags today than appliqued 3'x5' flags. I really prefer the appliqued star flag myself but I somewhat of a flag snob. Concerning your other question I would say your flag would be more accurate than your buddie's flag but nether one would conform to the official specs of a government issue flag. Maybe some of the other members can fill in the blanks here but go to this link or Goggle for more details on military flags:
    http://www.unl.edu/nrotc/reference/MCO P10520.3B.pdf
    On a side note I do Confederate reenacting as a color bearer so I appreciate your desire for accuracy. I would keep what you have but keep looking for a 48 star government issue flag on ebay.
    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  3. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    CleBlanc,

    Here is a better version of a flag manual.
    http://www.mtlegion.org/resources/mspflagmanual.pdf

    Here is an example of a what they call g-spec (government issue) flag. While this is a naval ensign the specs would be the same for the entire armed forces. I also forgot to mention that during WWII most government issue flags were wool bunting or silk (maybe rayon) for parade flags.
    48 star Naval Ensign web.jpg
     
  4. CLeBlanc

    CLeBlanc New Member

    I appreciate the info guys. This flag was purchased as a kind of "battle flag". I can't imagine that national flags for use in theaters of operations in WWII would be a nice wool or rayon flag. Would the cotton be acceptable for use as one that would be flown at a battalion CP? I would like to find out the different types and materials used to begin collecting different flags for different situations. I hope I'm not being too confusing!

    Thanks,

    Chase
     
  5. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Chase,
    You are asking some great questions. I would never say that the U.S. Army was never issued cotton flags but the norm for the armed forces was wool bunting. On the civilian side cotton was king but wool bunting was still available. I will need to ask some of my WWII history buddies concerning your other question but I think your flag will be fine addition for your living history display. I know a lot of my Confederate living history/re-enactor friends fly cotton battle flags as wool bunting is too expensive and too difficult to get these days. Cheers!
     
  6. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Chase,
    I have done a little more digging and found that the USS Texas was flying a 9'x16' cotton ensign during it's support for the D-day invasion of 1944. It had eleven grommets on it's hoist. We have to assume this was a government issue flag but it fails to meet the official specs by a good foot and a half on it's fly. Of course this was during a time of war when there were all sorts of shortages and many items such as flags were contracted out to meet demand. Unlike today contractors didn't always meet the specs that were required of them. I have a mint 48 star wool naval jack with the M.I. stamp and size number on it's hoist but instead of the stars being appliqued they were painted on! Very unusual for navy jacks of that time.
    Cheers
     
  7. CLeBlanc

    CLeBlanc New Member

    Thats cool! We are fairly active with living history over at the Texas and have been everywhere on that ship from the keel to the radar tower atop the firewatch. I was doing some research as well. I read in several places that wool was phased out as bunting around 1939. Can anyone confirm this?
     
  8. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi CLeBlanc,
    I would like to see that source as I have a couple of wool ensigns stamped post WWII (Korean era). This may be true for the civilian market. Except for casket flags the military went to a Rayon/wool blend then to Nylon by the late 1950s.
     

Share This Page