You are here:

Flags/value of 48 star American flag


This family flag is:

machine sewn, double stitched stripes with zigzag applique stars
31.5 x 48"
stamped EurekA BUNTING 2 1/? x 4 (measures 31.5 x 48)

("bunting"? - feels like linen weave but is wool bunting??)

I read that this 48 star flag is very common, but my mother has hung onto it and we think it came from an uncle who purchased it while his brother served in WW II - or perhaps he purchased it circa WW I when he was in his 20's.  

It is in excellent shape with some fading perhaps in the blue background of the stars.

Thank you for any help.  I am referring several friends to your site

Judy Gray

Hi, Judy.
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.  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.

As for what type of bunting it is, that I can't tell you without good images.  But there was cotton bunting and wool bunting and there were blends of wool and cotton.  I am not familiar with the Eureka brand or brand name, but that's not too surprising.  I may have seen it once and don't remember.  There were a lot of makers.

Warm Regards,



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.