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Fake Japanese flags


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Anyone here seen anything in print or otherwise regarding US sailors or marines creating japanese flags to sell to sailors arriving to pacific islands after the initial invasions?

 

YES!

 

In fact, many moons ago AGM owned an extensive WWII trunk group, purchased directly by my former business partner from the Army veteran himself. There were a number of nice Japanese flags in the group, and he informed us that they were all fake. He said (paraphrasing - it was a long time ago) "Yes, we had a regular business making up Japanese flags out of parachute silk and mercurochrome we got from a medical outfit. Got pretty good at it. We sold and traded them to those stupid squids as fast as we could make them."

 

Wish I had that interview on tape.


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I've heard it the other way... Seabees taking flags they found and making them "more interesting" by adding kanji to them, and selling them to Marines or Army troops.

 

Years later one of these ended up in the hands of a proud collector who took it down to the language department of his local university to have it translated. Of course, he was hoping the characters would be a name, unit, or patriotic "Banzai" saying.

 

When he got the translation back it included words such as "Rice", "Sake", "Fish", etc. Years earlier, some enterprising soul had sat down and copied the characters they found on the boxes around them, which apparently were ration crates!

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Here's something else to consider. I picked up four Japanese flags at an estate sale; two meatball flags and two Rising Sun flags with fringe. They were made exactly like the originals, but had green leather tabs as opposed to golden/yellow leather tabs (each flag had leather triangles in two corners for the string ties to run through). As best I can determine, the owner had been stationed in Japan with the Army Air Corp shortly after the war ended, and the same small businesses that made flags for the Japanese Imperial Army and Imperial Navy were making them for selling to the US Military. Same size and materials, except for the leather color. Anything to make a living in those days.

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Here's something else to consider. I picked up four Japanese flags at an estate sale; two meatball flags and two Rising Sun flags with fringe. They were made exactly like the originals, but had green leather tabs as opposed to golden/yellow leather tabs (each flag had leather triangles in two corners for the string ties to run through). As best I can determine, the owner had been stationed in Japan with the Army Air Corp shortly after the war ended, and the same small businesses that made flags for the Japanese Imperial Army and Imperial Navy were making them for selling to the US Military. Same size and materials, except for the leather color. Anything to make a living in those days.

 

A good point. The Hinomaru (referred to here as the "meatball flag") continued to be used in Japan after WWII and to the present day.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_flag

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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I have also heard this story from a few other WWII Navy and Marine vets. They all said that the bucket bottom was used to make the red circle. Evidently this was a common practice.

 

One of the stories that I had heard was from a sailor that bought one of these fake flags. According to him the flag that he had bought from the Marines on Okinawa also had a bunch of Japanese characters written on it. After the war he tried to get the characters translated and the person that translated the Japanese characters said that it was all just gibberish, random characters and words, some were not even real characters. Who ever made the flag must have just copied the letters from Japanese boxes and labels. The sailor said that he was so mad that he just tossed the flag in the trash. Too bad, that fake would probably be worth more than a real one.

 

Dennis

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Fake souvenirs were pretty common at the end of WWII, there were large amounts of troops stationed as part of the occupation forces and for the most part were not able to acess the battlefields and had to rely on purchasing their souvenirs.

 

Even as late as the early '50s there was still a demand for WWII artifacts among those stationed in Germany and Japan.

 

RC

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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I've heard it the other way... Seabees taking flags they found and making them "more interesting" by adding kanji to them, and selling them to Marines or Army troops.

 

Years later one of these ended up in the hands of a proud collector who took it down to the language department of his local university to have it translated. Of course, he was hoping the characters would be a name, unit, or patriotic "Banzai" saying.

 

When he got the translation back it included words such as "Rice", "Sake", "Fish", etc. Years earlier, some enterprising soul had sat down and copied the characters they found on the boxes around them, which apparently were ration crates!

That is fantastic LOL :lol:

Always looking for the following

GI Joe figures (1:6 scale)

Korean War items dated between 1950 to 1952 or when they were first issued
79th Tank Batallion DUI and patch
Cold War medal
and in the odd chance there is something out there anything that says Nick Haponuk on it cuz chances are its my grandpas and he turned it back in.
(just let me know if u have anything I want know if there is anything out there with my last name)
Also looking for any USMC items named to a man named Gerald Joseph Burns JR. out of Michigan (thats my Great Uncle)

Vietnam era items let me know what u got

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That is fantastic LOL :lol:

I think I have one of these flags that I just got from an estate sale! If you look close the ink around the circle is double and has ran in several spots. also the leather corner tabs are not leater at all but more like paper made to looklike leather. Also look how some of the names are spelled! Funny!!

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ALWAYS LOOKING FOR WWII 8TH & 9TH AAF UNIFORMS/NAMED MEDALS/SCRAPBOOKS/ANY TYPE OF GROUPING!

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I think I have one of these flags that I just got from an estate sale! If you look close the ink around the circle is double and has ran in several spots. also the leather corner tabs are not leater at all but more like paper made to looklike leather. Also look how some of the names are spelled! Funny!!

post-59872-1321232413.jpg

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gif

ALWAYS LOOKING FOR WWII 8TH & 9TH AAF UNIFORMS/NAMED MEDALS/SCRAPBOOKS/ANY TYPE OF GROUPING!

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Robert Leckie, in one of his books, tells of Marines making Japanese flags, using handkerchiefs and coloring the sun with match tips and then trying to sell them to the army troops who arrived as reinforcements on Guadalcanal.

"When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson

 

 

Sgt USMC 1989-1995

Co. A 8th Engineers

HE Platoon 6th Bridge Company

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  • 4 years later...

This cartoon came from a WWII-era Australian flag. It illustrates Shenkursk's point, quite well!

 

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Top dollar paid for WWI AEF Tank Corps uniforms, medal groups, equipment and photos,
unit histories and rosters...especially anything associated with

301st (Heavy) Tank Bn
Drop me an email and let me know what you have.

 

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