Service flag needlework panel

Object Number: 
ca. 1942-1945
Cotton, other fiber (possibly rayon)
Overall: 11 × 12 3/4 × 1/8 in. (27.9 × 32.4 × 0.3 cm)

Square needlework panel composed of pompom-like circles that are cut yarn bundles; panel illustrates American flag and service flag below, all on black ground; service flag has one blue star against white background with red border; blue star is an embroidered applique; flag is on orange flagpole and has 48 “stars” and 13 red and white stripes; off-white fringe around entire panel.

Gallery Label: 

Families, businesses, and organizations hang service flags in their windows to indicate the number of their members serving in the military during wartime. The banners were first designed in 1917 by US Army Captain Robert L. Queissner, an Ohioan with two sons serving in World War I, and the idea spread rapidly. The practice increased during World War II, with many families making theirs by hand. A blue star represents a living individual; these may be covered with silver stars to represent those been wounded or captured, or with gold for those who have been killed.

Credit Line: 
Gift of Arnold and Dora Stern
Place Made: 
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group