48 Star Antique Flag Discovered in Italy | Likely Trench Art | Circa WWII

48 Star Antique Flag Discovered in Italy | Likely Trench Art | Circa WWII
Close-up of 48 Star Antique Flag Discovered in Italy | Likely Trench Art | Circa WWII
IMG_4744.JPG
IMG_4745.JPG
IMG_4747.JPG
IMG_4748.JPG
IMG_4751.JPG
IMG_4753.JPG
IMG_4754.JPG
IMG_4755.JPG
48 Star Antique Flag Discovered in Italy | Likely Trench Art | Circa WWII
Close-up of 48 Star Antique Flag Discovered in Italy | Likely Trench Art | Circa WWII
IMG_4744.JPG
IMG_4745.JPG
IMG_4747.JPG
IMG_4748.JPG
IMG_4751.JPG
IMG_4753.JPG
IMG_4754.JPG
IMG_4755.JPG

48 Star Antique Flag Discovered in Italy | Likely Trench Art | Circa WWII

1,750.00

Frame Size (H x L): 32” x 35”
Flag Size (H x L): 22” x 26”

Offered is a forty-eight star handmade flag.  This flag, which was discovered in Italy, is likely an example of WWII trench art.  Trench art includes any decorative item made by a soldier or a civilian that is directly linked to an armed conflict. 

Alternatively, this flag may have been liberation flag.  Most liberation flags, however, were made by citizens of Britain or France or other affiliated state combatants to welcome US soldiers.  WWII marked the first time that non-Americans made and waved US flags in large numbers.  Makers from such countries were generally aware of what a US flag should include: a blue canton, white stars on the canton, and red and white stripes.  However, they typically did not know how big the canton should be, how many stars there should be, how the stars should be arranged, and how many stripes there should be, just to name a few examples.  In addition, makers of liberation flags typically use whatever materials were available to them, regardless of their quality and appearance. 

In any event, this flag is a wonderful example of a “make do” flag, a flag that was made with whatever materials were available to the maker.  Each star of this flag was crudely handstitched to the canton.  Some stars may have been originally painted into place, prior to each actual star being sewn into place.  The three painted stars, positioned along the hoist strip, were meant to show on the opposite side of the canton, prior to the removal of the staff.  The canton is a crudely made out of two pieces of blue fabric and sewn together.  Likewise, several of the stripes are crudely spliced together, including the white stripe under the canton, the next white stripe down, and the last white stripe.  Also, the stripes vary wildly in width, even within each stripe (e.g., the last red stripe).  Further, notice that this flag is very square in its construction, in contrast to being rectangular as should have been the case.   

The forty-eight star flag represents the inclusion of New Mexico and Arizona to the Union.  New Mexico was admitted on January 6th, 1912, and Arizona was admitted on February 14th, 1912.  The forty-eight star flag became official on July 4th, 1912.  Presidents Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower all served under this flag.  World Wars I and II, and the Korean War were all fought under it. 

The forty-eight star flag was official for forty-seven years up until July 4th, 1959, the time at which the forty-nine star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of Alaska in the Union.

Conservation Process: This flag was hand sewn to cotton fabric, and both were hand sewn to a mounting board.  To prevent the black dye in the cotton fabric from seeping into the flag, it was first washed in a standard wash and then in a dye setting wash.  The flag is positioned behind a UV resistant acrylic, and spaced apart therefrom using spacers. 

Frame: The frame is gold in color and highly distressed.  

Condition Report: This flag has staining and foxing across its canton and stripes.  Further, it has some small tears and holes, one of which was patched with a period repair.  The beauty of this flag is in its crudeness and in its flaws.  Many collectors prefer flags that show their use and age.  

Collectability Level: The Great – Perfect for Advanced Collectors  
Date of Origin: 1939-1945
Number of Stars: 48
Associated War: WWII
Associated State: Arizona  
 

Add To Cart