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This flag is just one of two antique American flags that I'm aware of where the stripes of the flag are made from a patterned material.  This particular flag, and the British Union Jack flag that accompanies it, were made in France during World War II to welcome American and British soldiers who liberated the region.  A note regarding the flags from the person who located them in France indicates that: "Regarding the flags, I asked the sellers for more information. They told me that both flags belonged to a friend of family Sir Andre Gauthier who lived in the small city of St Aubin de Blaye close to the famous Bordeaux city well known for its wine and he passed away." The use of the thick brocaded material, possibly made from drapes or other household decorative fabrics, is evidence of the austere conditions and make-do qualities often seen on these flags, which were made in a time and place that was witness to utter devastation. 

Like many liberation flags made in France during this time, the number of stars and stripes is stylized, either due to a lack of materials or the maker having only a general knowledge of the style of an American flag, but not the precise details of the contemporary number of stars and stripes.  This flag has a rare count of 16 stars and 15 stripes.  The hand cut and sewn stars, hand stitching, blue hoist, narrow white stripes, and wide red red stripes all contribute to one of the folkiest French-made Liberation flags one can witness.  These liberation flags still surface occasionally, but they are very difficult to locate.  Pairs of American and British flags, or even sets of three flags--American, British and French--are very scarce.  Collectively, they represent their own subgroup of rare American flags.  They embody the great sacrifices made by those allied soldiers who liberated Europe and the great appreciation of those who people were so dramatically liberated from the horrors of the Nazi regime.

  The British Union Jack counterpart Liberation Flag, made of the same materials with red brocade stripes.

Click here to learn more about the fabrics used in flag construction. Star Count:  16 Stars

Dates:  1944-1945

War Era:  World War II

Statehood:  Notional

Construction:  Cotton Stars, Cotton Canton, Cotton White Stripes, Brocaded Cotton Red Stripes

Catalog Number:  IAS-00295A and IAS-00295B

Click here to learn more about Liberation Flags.

Roosevelt's Rough Riders
45 Star Reunion Flag

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