48-STAR AMERICAN PEARL HARBOR FLAG
(UNITED STATES) (WORLD WAR II—PEARL HARBOR). Forty-eight star U.S. flag. No place, circa 1941. Flag measures 12 by 17-1/2 inches; with five-point stars arrayed in an eight-star, six-row, even row pattern; printed blue canton extends to the seventh stripe and rests on the eighth [white] stripe; handsomely framed, entire piece measures 22-1/2 by 17 inches. $6500.
48-star American flag, inscribed in blue ink on the white stripe beneath the blue canton, "Michael L. O'B____, SM 1/c USN" and "USS Antares AKS 3 / Dec. 7, 1941."
The USS Antares was a cargo ship commissioned in 1922. During 1941, Antares operated between Pearl Harbor and the U.S. West Coast, and Pacific islands such as Palmyra and Canton. The Antares was in Pearl Harbor during the Japanese surprise attack on December 7, 1941, and while the ship was strafed, did not suffer heavy damage. The ship earned two battle stars for service during World War II. New Mexico and Arizona were added to the Union in 1912, and the 48-star flag commemorating their statehood remained the official flag of the United States until the admission of Alaska in 1959. Presidents serving under this flag were William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower; it was the official flag during both World Wars and the Korean War. The arrangement of the stars in straight rows, as with this flag, became popular during the Civil War: "the collective visual effect… is, therefore, one of hypnotic rhythm" (Mastai & Mastai, 123), but "until 1912, no regulation governed the arrangement or uniformity of the stars" (Pierce Collection, 9).
A few minor holes. About-fine condition.