Question Im trying to date my grandfathers bennington flag. The appearance is very old and the grommets look to be machine pressed. All the stitching looks to be single thread and the stars are seven pointed and dye on. A valley forge label is on it with a vf-5 also. Printing on the label seems very dated as well.. lmk how i can get a round about date cause the family swears its 100 years old.
Answer Valley Forge flag company was founded in 1882, so you're well within that 100-year estimate. From your description it seems quite old, but whether it's before or after 1914 I couldn't tell you. I assume it's either cotton or wool, not nylon or some modern fabric. So while a definite date cannot be assigned without an expert actually looking at it, a 100-year ballpark estimate is not out of the question.
I am more-or-less expert in vexillology (the study of flags). My expertise is particularly strong in North America at the level of city and county, but if I don`t know the answer I know a dozen people who do. So if there`s a flag in the newspaper or on TV that you have trouble identifying, let me know. I`ll do my best. But PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO APPRAISE A FLAG'S VALUE: (1) I have no expertise in that area and (2) even if I did, I cannot appraise something I can't see. Take it to a museum which has a specialist in textiles and the like.
In this field, I designed the flag of Carroll County, Illinois, in 1974 (see http://www.internetni.com/~lanarklib/index.html). You can see my personal flag at http://www.nava.org/memflags.htm