This rare grouping of
discovered in the Rhone-Alpes region of France. All
three flags are made from the same cotton materials,
including a red fabric with a woven striped pattern.
American flags with
stripes made of patterned materials are extremely rare,
with only a few known examples from any period
exhibiting this trait.
The silken thread used to
sew the flags is lustrous, and the maker accented the
red stripes of the American Flag and Union Jack with red
ink. The French Tricolor is slightly larger than the
American Flag and Union Jack, and a stitched seam
running through the white of the Tricolor is evidence
that the fabric used was recycled from perhaps a dress
or some home goods. The 25 stars of the American Flag
are simple crosshatch in the shape of an X, and the
canton of the flag sits on the red "blood stripe". This
is the only liberation flag grouping that I am aware of
fashioned by the same hand and consisting of three flags
representing each of the major Allies of the war.
Allied forces liberated Lyon, France, the capital of the
Rhone-Alpes region, on September 3, 1944.
apparent that the maker of the flags selected materials
from whatever home goods they had at hand, perhaps
cutting sheets, curtains or clothes to fashion the
flags. Somehow these flags, when held in your
hands, have the ability to impart the historical energy
of their origins. This rare photograph, itself a
treasure of the Rare Flags collection, is an actual U.S.
Signal Corps photograph, dated July 7, 1944. Titled
"French Betsy" by the Associated press, the photo shows
a young girl, "Somewhere in Normandy" sewing an American
liberation flag as women and excited children look on.