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Flags/WW II Navy Burial Flag


My Uncle Bud was shot down Oct.1944,his remains never recovered. Subsequent generations lost track of his war medals and the flag the Navy later gave to his parents.I am trying to honor my uncle by replacing all those items as authentically as possible.

Do you know if the Navy kept records of the burial flags sent to survivors/his parents? It appears the US Army may have used a smaller flag, maybe 5'x8' when there were no remains/casket. Did the US Navy do the same?  Is there any way to verify what size flag the Navy used in a case like this?

Considering worst case scenario,I'll start from scratch.In order to buy a replacement flag, I need to know a least:
1. flag dimensions 5'x9.5', 5'x8' or other?
2. fabric flag made of-cotton, nylon, other?
3. 48 stars- printed or sewn?
4. grommets - brass or other?
5. stripes - machine or hand sewn?
6. any other attributes I need to know?

Considering the scarcity of documentation at this point in time, I understand certain assumptions of likelihood must be made. So be it. Where do you suggest I buy this flag?I desire to maintain an authenticity to what his parents received, historically accurate. I want to realize the best I can for him, to honor him, because I am also a former Navy pilot, having served 2 consecutive tours in Vietnam.

I greatly appreciate any help here, in this regard.   R.


I have been unavailable for a couple of weeks and just returned.  I found your question in the open pool, unanswered.

Because burial flags are undesirable to collectors, and I am a dealer in antique flags, I don't know all of the specifics about them, but I can tell you that they usually are wool, but can be cotton.  They will be all machine-sewn, not printed.  I would buy a 5' x 9.5' flag.  Ebay is a great place to go to buy a period 48 star example of a burial flag in cotton or wool.

My hat's off to you and to your Uncle's memory.

Warmest 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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