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Suggested reading brought to you by Elmer's Flag and Banner: What is My Old American Flag Worth?

(Image is Clickable Link) Revolutionary War flag

You're cleaning out Grandpa's attic and find an old flag that looks hand stitched and has less than 50 stars. Your mind starts racing! Where did he get this flag, what's it's story, and most importantly: is it worth anything?

Unfortunately, probably not. In the last ten years at Elmer's Flag and Banner, we've yet to get a call about an old flag that actually had collector's value. We get a lot of calls…and a lot of disappointed callers. Just because it's old, doesn't mean it's a collector's item.

A 49-star flag is rare but it's worth only a few dollars. In pristine condition? Worth a few more. Signed by the governor of Alaska, as the second to last state to join the Union? A few more. Flown over the capitol in Juneau January 3rd, 1959 in the ceremony making Alaska the 49th state and then signed by the governor? Cha-ching!!

The American flag wasn't standardized until 1912. From the June 1777 Second Continental Congress' definition of what the flag should look like until then there were countless variations. Because of this, antique flags can look very different from one another. If you have an old flag and it has a unique provenance, it could be valuable. Regardless, we'd love to see it.

For the record, the highest price paid for a flag sold at auction was an American Revolutionary War battle flag selling for over $12 million in 2006.

It's fun to imagine a big payout, but that old attic flag might be just a beautiful piece of folk art. With Father's Day and July 4th upon us, an American flag of any age makes a perfect gift.

Elmer's Flag and Banner

1332 N.E. Broadway, Portland

503-282-1214

www.elmersflag.com

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