Valley Forge Flag Co. 48 Star 5x9.5 ft.

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by kennykid, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. kennykid

    kennykid New Member

    My grandfather passed and had this in his attic so now I have aqcuired it. He was a Korean War veteran but unfortunately I know nothing about the history of this flag aside from it obviously predated 1959 with 48 stars. I was reading online about flags and came into this site. My main dilemma is I want to display it but it's HUGE. I feel like putting it in one of those triangle cases doesn't do it justice because of its impressive size and I want to show that. Any recommendations? Any other info on this flag would also be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Dear Kennykid,
    Your flag is most likely an internment flag. Valley Forge Flag Co. was one of the contractors that made casket flags for the Veterans Administration then and now. If your grandfather passed away in the 1950's it may be the flag that was used at his funeral. If he died recently, then it is very likely the burial flag of a close friend from Korea. The triangular flag boxes that are easily found in most framing/arts/crafts stores are popular for folded internment flags for the very reason that a 9 1/2 foot long flag is terrifically expensive to frame flat. To do it correctly using archival / museum quality materials would cost in the range of $1500 to $2500.

    The flag is strong enough to be hung vertically as long as is is out of direct sunlight (during the whole day!) so that is one option. If you want to display it horizontally the flag should be stitched to a piece of unbleached muslin (cotton). You could build a stretcher frame that measures 6x10.5 feet and stretch the muslin over that, tacking it into place (you may need to wrap the frame with acid free paper before tacking the muslin to it so that the wood does not cause your backing material to deteriorate over time). Then stitch the flag to it, keeping most of your stitches in the seams between stripes. The stitching in the top selvage will need to be closer so as to support the top stripe and top of the canton.

    I found a site online that listed some of the things that need to be considered when talking to a framing shop when discussing the framing of a valuable flag:
    1. They must discuss with you where the piece will hang. if they don't talk about UV blocking glass, and the necessity to hang the piece out of direct sun, and also on an INTERIOR wall of the home, pack up your flag and go elsewhere.
    2. They must also discuss the method in which they will mount the flag. It should be sewn using archival, stretched silk thread, and the stitches placed through where there are already stitches, so most likely on the top edge, and a few "tacking stitches" on the bottom corners. NO adhesives, glues, tapes should ever be used to mount a textile, modern or vintage. Never any double sided tape..
    3. They must also talk about archival materials. If they will be floating the flag on a backing/background, they can either use a plain rag matboard, or a rag matboard covered in an inert fabric using a ph neutral glue. Do not let them talk you into a pre-mounted fabric board. They contain acids and will damage the flag over time.
    4. Whatever backing they use, the flag should probably be "pedestaled" above it slightly, and must be if they use a fabric. (the flag should not touch the fabric). this means that they use an acid free matboard, 4 or 8 ply, to sew the flag to, then they attach that board to the fabric or other backing. It creates a nice depth in the piece, but also removes the risk of a fabric damaging the flag at all.

    The flag should be framed well, using acid free materials, so that it doesn't get harmed being trapped inside an acidic environment. Outgassing from bad materials is highly concentrated inside the frame, so the damage can be much worse than if the flag sat in a dry acid free box under your bed for a decade.

  3. kennykid

    kennykid New Member

    wow. Thank you for the detailed response I have a lot to think about now.

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