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Flags/Flag value


I have a 48-star flag given to my grandparents by the U.S. Army when their son was killed in action during WWII. It appears to be in perfect, unused condition. With the flag is a brochure entitled, "The Flag of the United States, Its issue and use in draping a casket and its subsequent preservation, published by the Veterans Administration , Washington, D.C., Revised November, 1941"
How much do you think it is worth?
Many thanks for your help.

Hi, Pamela.

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 used by the Department of the Government, which mean military and government use.  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.  The casket flags are particularly tough, not only because of their intended purpose, but also because of their large size, which makes them difficult to display indoors unless folded.  Casket flags are extremely common and hard to sell.  $25 - $125 is the price range you are looking at.  Ebay is your best bet if you wish to liquidate it.




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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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