Historical 46 Star American Flag From The Philippines – SOLD

Printed 46 Star Flag with WWII Philippines History.


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This is a most interesting 46 star American flag.  Adopted on July 4th, 1908 with Oklahoma’s inclusion to the Union, this 46 flag was used into 1912. It is the printed variety and commonly used for parade or occasional use.

The historical use of this particular printed flag is unknown and thus speculation is the driving force here. On April 9, 1942, American Forces surrendered to Japanese Forces so it can be assumed easily that all American flags stopped being flown by American military personnel, as well as life loving Philippine peoples fearing Japanese reprisal.

This flag is a fragment, never intended to be flown, yet it shows the signs of being used for that purpose. The center stripe running vertically in the center is that point were the fabric would have been cut to create each flag on a large run of printed flags. Assuming that after surrender of all US forces, flags were scarce and therefore whatever could be found was used by some patriotic citizens.

Written in period ink on one of the lower white stripes is, “Headquarters Flag, Philippines 1942.” There is another word that I can’t make out. Interesting to note at this point that the American flag had grown to 48 stars as of July 4, 1912. So why use an outdated, unauthorized 46 star fragment? What else was available for use under enemy occupation?

“Headquarters” suggest some military unit, perhaps American military personnel that went into the hills working with guerrilla fighters, or some patriotic Philippine nationals that defied occupation.  It will make for an interesting research project.

The flag is approximately 31″ x 50.”  To the left of the canton, the stripes have been turned towards the canton to create a socket for flag pole or rope for hanging; and it has been created by the use of neat hand stitching.  The fly has been left untouched and shows typical fraying.  Condition is very sound retaining good color, with stains and soiling.

You know what they say, “if only this one could talk.”



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