WWII burial flag

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by Champ3295, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Champ3295

    Champ3295 New Member

    I just purchased a flag at an antique store that was described as a WWII casket flag. I was surprised something like this would ever leave a family and I feel honored to have it. I was hoping to find out more about this flag, and if possible, the family it came from. I also wanted to know if I can fly this flag or if i should keep it in the container. It is currently in a plastic zippered container that has etzweiler funeral home stamped on the back of it. I have not removed it from the package so I don't know much more about it than that. The plastic is old and starting to crack. The flag looks great and made of cloth with stitched stars. If anyone could provide me with more information I would appreciate it. Thanks!
     
  2. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hello Champ3295 and welcome to the forum,
    During WW2 because of the high number of combat deaths the military switched to making burial flags made of cotton (instead of wool) to cover caskets and/or to give to families of deceased veterans. I assume your flag has 48 stars? I hate to say it but some antique dealers are quite "clever" at streching the facts on some items like old flags. Some will sell any 48 star flag as from WW2. (Forty-eight star flags were used up till 1959). What intrigues me about your flag is the plastic cover. While I believe your flag could be of the the WW2 era the plastic cover is most likely post war. Someone correct me but I don't think plastic flag covers appear until the late 1970's? It probably didn't come with the original flag and but was picked up later and used to protect your flag. I have emailed the Etzweiler Funeral Home and they are out of York, PA. I asked them about the plastic cover and will let you know if they respond. Are there any other markings on the flag header, such as the flag maker?
    Cheers,
    mike
     
  3. Champ3295

    Champ3295 New Member

    Thanks for the information. I have not opened the covering and taken the flag out to look at any additional markings. I will to that and take a couple of pictures to send back and let you look at. Let me know if you hear anything back from Etzweiler, I was thinking of doing that myself. Hopefully I will have some more information on my next posting.
     
  4. Champ3295

    Champ3295 New Member

    Tag.jpg I opened the case and took a couple of pictures. It is a 50 star flag so I'm guessing it may not actually be that old but not sure. Let me know if you have any ideas after looking at the pictures.
     
  5. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Oh yes, it is definitely not a WW2 era flag. Maybe the antique dealer was pushing it as a burial flag of a WW2 vet. You can tell from the embroidered (50) stars and the Valley Forge logo on the tag it would be a flag dating from the 1980s, 1990s or even later. I would say later as the VF logo tag looks pretty recent. Flagmakers stopped appliquéing stars in the early to mid 1970s and went to machine embroidered stars. I am not sure if VF is still using the Best quality cotton any longer, maybe someone else can comment on that. I sure hope that dealer didn't tell you it was a WW2 flag. That would be very unethicial. Still, you have a good flag not quite as collectable as a 48 star flag but good flag none the less.
    Cheers,
    mike
     

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