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Garrison Flag 48 Stars Ensign #1


dhcoleterracina
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dhcoleterracina

Here below is a 48 Star Garrison Flag. It measures 20 by 38 feet and weighs about 32 pounds. Surprising to me, there were no makers marks along the hoist area. Perhaps the size said all that was needed. It was important that I took exact measurements since that is how this flag is identified but I didn't just want to lay it on the ground. I opted to lay out several canvas tarps on the ground and lay the flag on the tarp. Still, if anyone is offended, my apologies. There were also signs of mold/ water staining so it was good to let it breath in California's 105 degree afternoon. 

 

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dhcoleterracina

The "grommets" are the heavy iron or zinc rings often seen on storm flags. The difference is that they have five rivets for added support. 

 

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dhcoleterracina

The stripes are about 17 and a half wide. 

 

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dhcoleterracina

The stars are 14 inches from point to point.  The stars are sewn using a zigzag stitch. 

 

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dhcoleterracina

The fly is in good shape with no cloth loss and supported by three lines of stitching. 

 

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dhcoleterracina

Finally,  for a very long time I was under the impression that the flag numbering system of 1-12 was strictly a "Navy" thing.  It's clear to me now that the system was used by both the Army and Navy. This flag is a #1 and was only used by the Army on holidays and important occasions. The #2 flag was only used by the Navy and it is just slightly smaller than the #1. The Army also used a #5 which measures 10 by 19 feet as a Post flag. It was hoisted in pleasant weather. Finally the "Storm Flag" measures 5 by 9 and a half feet to be used in stormy/windy weather. The storm flag is a #8. This is why I could never find a Navy #8. 

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tdurbinmas

Excellent old flag. I thought about this one for a minute, but it is massive. You're right about the sizing. The "Garrison" flag was the same size as a No 1 Ensign. I got one of those a few months ago along with several number 2's, 4's and 6's. These flags are huge and take up a ton of space for certain. QM didn't always stamp these big ones for some reason but it looks right to me.

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Blacksmith

I think you handled laying the flag out as respectfully as possible, thank you for doing so.

 

That is a GIANT beautiful flag.

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stratasfan

Thanks for sharing! I never knew that there was such a BIG flag! And you did a great job laying it out! Bet it liked the sunshine for a bit! I can't imagine a flag weighing 32 pounds, although I do know first-hand about how heavy fabric can be! Would they have been hung from buildings or flown on a pole?

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dhcoleterracina

It turns out to be 34 pounds according to the post office.

 

I believe that it was flown on a flag pole. Regulations changed allowing it to be carried out flat, it had been forbidden before. 

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digi-shots

Wow, that flag is huge.. congrats on getting it!
 

 I am curious… are large flags like this folded into a triangle when not used… and if so, how large a “triangle” would this one be?

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Brian Keith
5 hours ago, Blacksmith said:

I think you handled laying the flag out as respectfully as possible, thank you for doing so.

 

That is a GIANT beautiful flag.

Ditto to what Blacksmith said. Wonderful flag.  Thanks for posting it and all the info! As an addendum, I believe the "storm Flag" is the flag used as the "Burial Flag", heavy grommets and all. A bit of sunshine probably was a good thing for this beauty! 

Thanks for posting this great piece of history!
BKW

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dhcoleterracina

I had to search when we started to fold the flag in a triangle. The Annin Flag Company did some research and found mention of it in a 1930 publication but believe the practice dated back to the First World War when patriotism ran high. The triangle shape is a throwback to the tri-corn hat common during the Revolution. 

 

The main complaint with flag collecting is the difficulty in displaying anything large. That's why the Navy #12 (the smallest) often sells for much higher than a similar but larger flag with a strong historical connection. In fact a #12 would easily sell for more than this #1. 

 

When I had this flag laid out, my wife commented that it is a great flag but what are you going to DO with it? It would be interesting to see if it could be refolded into a triangle and then build a box for it like the ones that we commonly see. Thanks for the thought digi-shots. 

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digi-shots

It will be interesting to see what you come up with as far as a display… folded, etc.

 

A friend of mine had a fairly large flag that they hung along the ceiling of a warehouse.  I think they either used a cable strung from wall to wall or pieces of conduit…. The flag was draped over it every five feet or so and covered a good portion of the ceiling.

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