Valley Forge Cotton 9x5 48 star question

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by Ecclectica, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. Ecclectica

    Ecclectica New Member

    Greetings!

    I acquired a Valley Forge (stamped) 48 star flag (9x5) with appliqued stars. I am a new collector, so while I know this is a typical casket drape size, my flag does have brass grommets (which seems odd for a casket flag).

    This is a cotton flag.

    Can this be a casket flag with grommets? Also, how can I find out if it is a government-issue flag or commercial use?

    Thanks for the help for this newbie!

    Ecclectica
     
  2. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi Ecclectica,
    Yes, "casket" flags do have grommets. The back story is in 1912 President Taft issused an excutive order to have all government and military departments to regulate and conform their flag sizes to one standard. This did not apply to civilian flagmakers unless they were under contract by the government. Size 8 was desinated for flags that were 5' x 9' 1/2. and back then were made of wool bunting and were usually for naval vessels and army posts, etc., but it was also the perfect size to use to cover a casket for a deceased serviceman or woman. During WW2 because of the high number of combat deaths the military was forced to use contractors to make size 8 flags made of cotton (instead of wool) to cover caskets or to give to families. The Valley Forge flag company was one of those contractors and seem to get the lion share of that business and still does today. Back to your question, it could be difficult to know for sure as these casket flags were also sold to the public as well. So unless you know if your flag came from a veteran it could be hard to be absolutely sure but I would guess it did. Today the military and the government uses a size 8 flag made of nylon for naval vessels and government buildings but still uses the cotton flags for funerals.
     
  3. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi Ecclectica,
    Yes, "casket" flags do have grommets. The back story is in 1912 President Taft issused an excutive order to have all government and military departments to regulate and conform their flag sizes to one standard. This did not apply to civilian flagmakers unless they were under contract by the government. Size 8 was desinated for flags that were 5' x 9' 1/2. and back then were made of wool bunting and were usually for naval vessels and army posts, etc., but it was also the perfect size to use to cover a casket for a deceased serviceman or woman. During WW2 because of the high number of combat deaths the military was forced to use contractors to make size 8 flags made of cotton (instead of wool) to cover caskets or to give to families. The Valley Forge flag company was one of those contractors and seem to get the lion share of that business and still does today. Back to your question, it could be difficult to know for sure as these casket flags were also sold to the public as well. So unless you know if your flag came from a veteran it could be hard to be absolutely sure but I would guess it did. Today the military and the government uses a size 8 flag made of nylon for naval vessels and government buildings but still uses the cotton flags for funerals.
     

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