Unusual 48 star flag

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by chabro, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. chabro

    chabro New Member

    I recently came across a 48 star flag and have never seen one like it. It is like a navy jack flag with stripes beside the stars. The size of the flag is 24" x 140". Anyone have any ideas what it is or have any additional information?

    flag close.jpg
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Chabro !!! :D

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site Forums !!! :D

    I do believe that what you have there is what is known as an American Flag "Pull Down". It is meant to hang vertically. Notice which way the "heads" of the Stars are pointing (toward the canvas header where the grommets are located). When the Pull Down is hung vertically its Stars point "up" just like a horizontal American Flag.

    Pull Downs are usually hung between two tall pillars, or at least that's where I've seen them. If you have ever seen any pictures of the podium during a Presidential Inauguration on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, you'd notice FIVE really HUGE "Pull Downs" hung between the Capitol's pillars behind the stage.

    InaugurationPullsDownsOn CapitolBldg.jpg


    I know that they aren't "exactly" the same as yours, but hopefully the picture will give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Does that help clear things up a little for you?

    Thank You for brining your Flag-related question to our Forums !!! :D

    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
  3. chabro

    chabro New Member

    Thanks so much for the reply. I was guessing it would be a pull down but could not find any pictures of one like it. The material appears to be similar to linen and the grommets almost look like nickel. I really like it and would love to know the history of it but that is looking doubtful.

    Is there any resources to help me identify the material of the flag?
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hi, Chabro ! :D

    Well, like I often times say (and do), "When In Doubt, Google It Out"!

    In this case I just used two search terms and "Googled" it. The two search terms are "American Flag" and "Pull Down".


    Of course there's almost a quarter million "results" to sift through!

    Well, your Pull Down has 48 Stars so that "almost" narrows it down. The 48-Star Flag was "official" from 7-04-1912 to 7-03-1959 (47 years), so that kind of narrows it down (sort of...). :D

    THE person who would most likely know about the fabric, construction, etc. of your Pull Down is known here as "NAVA1974". His name is Nick and he is a Past-Preasident of the North American Vexillological Association (N.A.V.A.). If I remember correctly, one of his areas of expertese is "flag fabrics & construction".

    I am NOT an expert (so take the following with a grain of salt...), but it looks to me as though the Stars in your Pull Down are printed. I can't tell if the Stripes are also printed or if they're sewn together. The fabric looks to me like it is a "natural" fabric (cotton, wool, linen, etc.) and not a synthetic (nylon or polyester). It doesn't look like silk or rayon either. And THAT is about as much as I'm willing to guess about it!

    What would REALLY help is ANY additional information about your Pull Down that you can think of or remember. You say that you "came across it". OK. WHERE did you come across it? WHO had it and who had it before them? WHEN did they come into possession of it? HOW did you find out about the Pull Down? Now maybe you don't know very much about the Pull Down, but maybe the people who owned it DO know something about it. See what I mean?

    If you have any other pictures of your Pull Down, be ready to share them. Somebody might ask you about the construction "details" and ask you for pictures of them. They might ask if there is any writing on the header of the Pull down (canvas strip where the grommets are located) or on the Pull Down itself.

    Any way, be patient and keep checking back! :D

    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
  5. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Robin hit the nail on the head. The 48-starred bunting is, indeed, a pull-down. These became popular after the U S Flag Code prohibited the use of the American Flag itself for decorating buildings, stages, etc. Your pulldown likely dates from the mid 1920's to the WWII era.


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