We inherited a "WWII" flag from our family-- can you help?

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by Sherri, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. Sherri

    Sherri New Member

    Hello, I'm so happy to find this site! We need your help.

    We just received a 48 star flag which (we are told) was the burial flag for my husband's grandfather. He survived WWII, but died in November 1946. My husband's grandmother (whose memory was clear at times but spotty at others) said he died in some sort of air/sea accident-- essentially he did not die on land.

    Unfortunately this beautiful flag was "stored" in a shoebox in the garage (in FL, no less) until it came to us. It's not in horrible shape, but it's a bit dirty and it smells musty. I wanted to have the flag cleaned and properly cased as a gift for my husband. (Here's where I need help!)

    1. I'm scared to death to clean this flag, least anything happen to it. But, it's smells-- so whatever is making it smelly will likely damage the flag over time, right? Does anyone have advice for cleaning this flag? (I saw the forum post about hand-washing with a soft brush, but I fear that won't be enough). It almost seems like it's made of linen (so, cotton perhaps?)

    2. I can't seem to find a triangle (or otherwise) case that will fit this flag. It's a 3'6" x 6'8" flag. Can anyone help?

    3. Why would this flag be different from the standard internment flag? Did the sizes change?

    I've attached some photos below. I really appreciate your kind assistance!!!

    20141114_092222.jpg 20141114_092255.jpg 20141114_092309.jpg 20141114_092337.jpg
  2. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Hello Sherri, and welcome to the USA Flag Forum.

    I can offer a few answers to your questions.

    "Bulldog" was Dettra Flag Company's brand name for cotton bunting, so washing the flag should not be a problem. You might just check to see that the red dye is still color-fast. You may also check with some local dry-cleaners as many will clean American flags for free as a public service. Some limit this free service to the time from Flag Day (June 14) to the 4th of July.

    The size is definitely an question. Internment flags were universally 4 1/2 feet by 9 feet since World War II. It was made in the official government proportions of 10x19, as were internment flags (and flags used over all government buildings, like Post Offices.) It may have been a flag owned by your husband's grandfather, but I would doubt it was his casket flag.

    Hope this helps a bit.
    Columbia Maryland
  3. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi Sherri,
    I would take the advice of my good friend Nick and have it dry clean. What ever you do, don't machine wash it! Like Nick said hand washing is fine but I would lay it out flat to dry, if you put it on a clothes line or flag pole to dry, because it is a cotton flag the weight of the water in the flag will pull it out of shape and that you do not want to do.

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