Lot 516

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A unique relic of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a 48-star American flag, 56" x 87", of heavyweight cotton bunting construction, consisting of thirteen separately-sewn red and white stripes and a dark blue canton bearing 48 sewn-on white fabric stars. A strip of white canvas has been folded over and sewn to form the hoist, with a zinc grommet at each end and bearing the stamped "Bull Dog Bunting" brand label of manufacturer Dettras Flag Products, beside the stamped size marking "5x8 FT". Most interestingly, the hoist bears additional stenciled markings in period black ink on both sides. The side bearing the manufacturer's label is marked "U.S. Dec 7, 1941", while the reverse bears the more detailed legend: "Dec 7, 1941 U.S. Marines Pearl Harbor 1st Defense Battalion R.H." The Marine Defense Battalions were charged with providing coastal and anti-aircraft defense to U.S. military bases in the Pacific immediately prior to World War II, with the 1st Defense Battalion providing detachments to Wake, Johnston, and Palmyra Islands, and at Pearl Harbor. At the latter base, a detachment of 261 men were assigned to the Marine barracks at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. As Pearl Harbor came under Japanese attack on the morning of December 7, 1941, men of the the 1st, 3rd and 4th Defense Battalions were able to return fire with their machine guns and rifles, later receiving credit for downing three enemy aircraft. It is believed that the flag presented here was flown over the Marine barracks at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard at the time of the attack, and was later retained as a souvenir by one of the battalion's officers, likely the "R.H." whose initials appear on the hoist, who also added the additional markings recording its significance. The Dettras Flag Products company produced flags under the "Bull Dog Bunting" brand from 1911 through 1959, and was contracted by the U.S. government to produce flags for military purposes during World War II. These were primarily utilized as burial flags, which were manufactured to different size specifications than those of the flag presented here. The flag shows an approx. 1/2" dia. hole at lower right, with a 3" separation between two stripes just below, and some white paint spatters and additional soiling overall, else very good. A length of braided cotton cord, believed to have been used to hoist this flag, is also present. The flag was purchased by our consignor from a veteran of the 1st Defense Battalion residing in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, circa 1995. Our consignor's signed letter of provenance stating this information accompanies the flag.

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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.

November 13, 2018 10:00 AM EST
Chesapeake City, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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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