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Flags/48 star never flown


I have a 48 star flag in mint condition that appears to have never been flown.  It has Samson Bunting stamped with 5x9 also stamped. I dont know the history of this flag except my grandfather gave it to me. He was in the most of his life and passed away in 1964 when I was 8. Does this have a value?

Hello and thanks for your question.

The 48 star flag became official on July 4th, 1912 and remained so until July 3rd, 1859.  It was therefore our national flag during 3 major wars:  WWI (U.S. involvement 1917-18), WWI (U.S. involvement 1941-45) and the Korean War (1950-53).  We were highly industrialized by this period of course and commercial flag production was done entirely by machine.  The quantity made throughout this 47-year time frame was massive.

Before 1912 there was no official star pattern for the American national flag.  In 1912 President Howard Taft passed an executive order that created, for the first time, an official star configuration for flags ordered by the Department of the Government.  This consisted of 6 justified rows of 8 stars.  Taft's order also dictated such things as the shape of the stars (5-pointed), the shades of red and blue, and the flag's proportions.  Flag collectors prefer unusual star patterns and interesting graphics that are not typically seen on 48 stars flags, most all of which conform to Taft's order, are plain and ordinary.

It is for this reason that most 48 star flags are common and thus lack significant value as antiques.

That having been said, there are some 48 star flags that are valuable.  These include, for example, flags that have interesting specific history that can be widely appreciated and flags that are highly unusual with interesting graphics, such as circular star patterns, flags with 8-pointed stars, etc.  If you feel your flags fits this description, let me know.

We here at AllExperts are all volunteers from various fields.  I have seen the Sampson Bunting label previously, but I am not sure when this firm was in business.  As a dealer in and student of antique flags, my focus is on the 19th century.  Due to the low value of 48 star flags, and the great quantity of them, studying them intensively has not been an interest of mine, otherwise I might know more about the Sampson label.

Warm Regards,



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Jeff Bridgman


I am an expert in antique American flags, particularly in Stars & Stripes flag, both printed and sewn varieties. I also have expertise in antique Confederate flags. I am not an expert in flag etiquette and flag laws, so please don't ask me questions concerning where and how to fly modern American flags. My particular focus is on the 19th century, when there basically were no laws or rules of formal etiquette.


I am the world's largest buyer and seller of antique flags. I also have 25 years of experience selling other early American textiles.

Antiques Dealers Association of America (ADA); Antiques Counci; Antiques & Arts Dealer's League of America (AADLA); Cinoa; North American Vexillogical Association (NAVA)

The Magazine Antiques, FOCUS (Journal of the Antiques Council), Antiques and the Arts Weekly, Northeast, New England Antiques Journal, Chubb Collectors [Chubb Insurance Group], Country Home Magazine, Country Living Magazine, etc.

Graduate Degree, 1994

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