Flag Facts

TYPES OF FLAGS

Sewn Flags and Printed Flags The sewing machine was invented in 1840, it grew in use till in the 1870’s when they were used everywhere for everything. So you will only find hand sewn flags up till the late 1840’s. These flags are very rare and very expensive.

Printed flags are made basically two ways, stenciling and printed, as with any other type of material/fabric of the day. Stenciling goes way back in history, so it’s possible to find really old stencil printed flags.

Flying Flags and Parade Flags

Flags that were flown & used outdoors are usually made of wool and most were very large, some were huge. Usually they are all hand sewn & then later machine sewn. These were mostly used by the military & the government.

Parade flags were mostly made of cotton. They did use a starched gauze or light weight muslin and also you may fine some made of silk, which was very expense back then. These were printed or stenciled and are usually 2’x3′ but mostly in the 12″x 17″ or smaller size.

Stars

This is really what determines the worth of a flag for a collector. The fewer the more expensive. The fewer the more rare it is. The more bazaar the stars are arranged the rarer & more expensive it is. Are the stars sewn on, printed, or embroidered.

Overprinted Flags

This is a flag that has printing on it such as advertising or to promote a political candidate. During 1860 & 1864 for the two presidential elections with Lincoln, political candidate flags were all the rage. Today these flags are worth a small fortune if you can find one. In 1912 President Taft Issued an executive order that from now on all flags had to be a certain proportion, the stars had to face straight up and be in even rows. He also outlawed any writing on a flag.

Price

Today the price of a flag is determined by many factors. The Size, material used, how it’s made, the number of stars, any special importance attached to it, condition, the arrangement of the stars, and your personal attraction to it.

Summary

The look of our flag has evolved for over 200 years, and each one of these beautiful old pieces of cloth is as individual as each American.

For the shed blood of brave soldiers to fight for it to keep us free for 229 years.

To imagine to take ordinary individual pieces of red, white & blue cloth, sew them together to form our flag and it becomes the great, majestic banner of the United States of America, that men & women have died for, that downtrodden people from all over the world, for over two hundred years have long for, to be free. It represents freedom to all those who are oppressed.

Written by: Steve Winters
Copyright © 2004-2008, Historical Americana Co.

Antique Flags

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Reference books

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The Stars and Stripes
By Boleslaw and Marie-Louise D’Otrange Mastai
Published by Knopf
IBSN: 0-394-47217-9

Stars and Stripes
By Deborah Harding
Published by Rizzoli International
IBSN: 8-8478-2485-3