Lot 563

Previous image preload Next image preload


A most desirable piece of presidential memorabilia, a flag of the President of the United States, hand-made by the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot and intended to be flown from the presidential limousine, created during the administration of President DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (1890-1969), and apparently retained and used through the administration of his successor, JOHN F. KENNEDY (1917-1963). The navy-blue rayon flag, 18" x 28", is hand-embroidered on both sides with the Seal of the President of the United States in silk thread. The seal is surrounded by fifty stars in white silk thread. The flag is bordered on three sides by a hand-knotted 1 ¼" fringe of alternating yellow and white thread, while the hoist edge is folded over and sewn, with the fringe absent. Soft brown leather loops are sewn inside the hoist at top and bottom. A white fabric maker's label is also sewn inside the top of the hoist, reading: "Job 6279/Flag, Distng/Presid., Ryn", with the size marking "1'6" x 2'2"". The maker is identified as the "Phila. Quartermaster Depot" at bottom. The inspector of the flag has added their initials "EF" to this label in black ink, in addition to the notation "item 3" and the date "5-4-60" in blue ink. This fifty-star variant of the Presidential Flag was adopted by executive order on Feb. 5, 1960 to honor the entry of Hawaii into the union, to become effective July 4th of that year. The Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot was re-designated the Defense Personnel Support Center in 1965, and flags manufactured there after that date were so marked. These possible dates of manufacture, coupled with the inspector's date of 1960, indicate that this flag was manufactured and delivered to the White House during the final year of the Eisenhower administration, and is one of the earliest-dated fifty-star examples constructed. It would have been flown from the left-hand flag pole at the front of the presidential limousine, opposite the American Flag, in situations where the President was the only distinguished passenger. On occasions when the car was occupied by a visiting foreign leader, this flag would be replaced by the flag of that dignitary's home country. The flag originates from the estate of Cmdr. Ronald L. Jackson (1928-1990). Jackson, a Navy officer, was tasked with supervising the planning and implementation of reciprocal state dinners, the operation of the White House Mess and food service at Camp David and aboard Air Force One, and traveled everywhere with Presidents Johnson through George H. Bush. Jackson was named to his position through a naval appointment, which was intended to expire after a two-year tour. However, by the end of this period, President Lyndon Johnson, a fellow former navy officer, was so pleased with Jackson's performance that he personally ordered that the job classification be changed from a military to a civilian position, so that Jackson could continue to serve the president indefinitely. It is likely that Jackson received this flag from Johnson when he commissioned his own set of presidential flags upon assuming the presidency, as is standard practice. Although the flags of former presidents are intended to be turned over to the National Archives, a small number have instead been given as gifts to individuals close to the president and remain in private hands. The fact that Jackson received this flag during his time with the Johnson administration indicates that it was in White House possession from the end of the Eisenhower administration through that of John F. Kennedy, and was very likely used by that administration into that of Johnson, until Johnson's own presidential flags were made. Thus, this flag served three administrations! The flag is in fine condition. A most sought-after and rare American flag, which would constitute a valuable focal point in any presidential collection. SOLD WITH: A pair of period "whiteprint" facsimile plans drafted by the Institute of Heraldry, U.S. Army at Alexandria and printed by the Government Printing Office, the first 33 1/2" x 25", dated Feb. 11, 1966 and providing dimensions for the cotton duck-cloth cases to be used with the Presidential Standard offered elsewhere in this sale, and the automobile flag described above. The second, 17" x 11", drafted by the Institute of Heraldry and dated July 19, 1967, offers dimensions for the metal flagstaff to be used with the automobile flag described above. Both plans show slight folds and minor bumps to the edges, else very good.

Accepted Forms of Payment:

Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Paypal, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


Shipments are sent via USPS Priority, USPS International Priority, DHL (for most overseas shipments) or FedEx Ground at the auctioneer's option, signature is always required, unless other arrangements are made. Handling and shipping charges will be added to the invoice in one entry. Buyers should be aware that large, framed, fragile or odd shaped items can incur substantial shipping and packing charges. International shipments are invoiced by DIMENSIONAL weight, not the item weight. Please contact us for an estimate before bidding NOTE: Large, heavy or bulky items may not be shipped by the auctioneer - arrangements for shipping of these items via a third-party shipper may be arranged through the auction house. Customers who supply their own courier account number will still be charged a handling fee. Please allow 2-3 weeks for shipments after receipt of payment due to the high volume of packages being shipped.

February 19, 2019 10:00 AM EST
Chesapeake City, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 28% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $499 $20
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 + $10,000