The Zaricor Flag collection: Two Centuries of Concord & Conflict

The Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC), as the noted flag historian, the late Howard Madaus stated, Is the largest most important representation of U.S. and American flags in the world. Containing many important foreign flags, the ZFC is more than a large accumulation; rather it is a dynamic working collection, used for research, exhibition and educational purposes. Read more >>

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Assassination and the Transition of Power

56. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961 - 1963

John F. Kennedy, May 29, 1917 - November 22, 1963, 46 years old

The flags, photographs and reports, which comprise the President John F. Kennedy Grouping are some of the most important artifacts of the Zaricor Flag Collection, which include the two flags from the Presidential Limousine when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas the 22nd of November 1963.

The image of the Presidential Limousine speeding away with its pair of flags, a 50 star United States flag and the Presidential Designating Flag, whipping wildly in the wind was seared into the nation's collective memory.

These flags were removed at the moment President Kennedy was laid to rest at the Arlington National Cemetery November 25, 1963 funeral, by the driver, Secret Service Agent William Greer, and members of his security detail who then presented these flags to Mrs. Evelyn Lincoln (the late President's secretary and private secretary to his widow, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy) who preserved the flags for many years.

This Grouping also includes one of the last photographs taken of the Presidential Limousine by Special Presidential Assistant, David Powers, who took the photo from the trailing Secret Service car. The image shows all the occupants in the limousine, including the President, the First Lady as well as the two flags, 13 minutes before the president was shot twice. Of notable interest, the photo reveals a man clearly outlined standing on the roof of a building within 150 feet on the left hand side of the Presidential Limousine. The photograph ran once in the overseas press in 1966 and records indicate that this is the only time it has been available for public viewing. The negatives are included in the grouping along with a colored set possibly created for publication. It is possible this is the only known photograph with a rear view of the limousine, the point of view which the shooter would have had that fateful afternoon.

Completing the Grouping are numerous period photographs of that eventful Texas trip.

President John F. Kennedy and Party, Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963.
ZFC2500 - 50 Star U.S. Flag, President John F. Kennedy Limousine; ZFC2501 - 50 Star U.S. Presidential Flag, John F. Kennedy Limousine.
Photo left-right: (rear) President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, (middle) Texas Governor John Connally (D) and Texas First Lady Nellie Connally, (front) Secret Service Roy Herman Kellerman and driver Secret Service Agent William Greer.

President John F. Kennedy


The last half of the 20th century witnessed continuing changes in the visual media which have dramatically altered our perception of history. Significantly historic events have been captured by amateur and professional photographers, whose images were transformed into icons of the events depicted. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, stands paramount as the numbing event of the 1960s. The image of the presidential limousine speeding away with its pair of flags whipping wildly in the wind was seared into the nation's collective memory.

57. David F. Powers Special Assistant to JFK

David F. Powers was the Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy. As the Special Assistant to the President he also served as Assistant Appointments Secretary. In addition, he greeted and escorted important White House visitors; accompanied the President on his foreign as well as domestic trips and perhaps most importantly served as friend and confidant to President Kennedy.

He was involved in making the arrangements for the state funeral of the President and continued as a White House Special Assistant until January 1965 when he was asked personally by Robert F. Kennedy, the president's brother and Attorney General, to begin assembling and collecting Kennedy papers and memorabilia. After resigning from the White House, David Powers became the Museum Curator of the Kennedy Library until 1994.

This Grouping contains David Powers' West Wing office flag, presidential seal, personal photographs, reports and other memorabilia pertaining to the fateful day in Dallas that ended the Kennedy Administration and began Kennedy's legacy.

Significant and unique is Powers' personal copy of the White House Schedule for the 21st & 22nd of November 1963 Texas schedule. He most likely annotated the document very soon after an event(s) occurred during the trip. His annotation on the 22nd of November contains the poignant words "My President is Dead" at exactly 1:00 PM the official time of his death in the Emergency Unit #1 of Parkland Hospital. The annotated account of the events during those two days in Texas remained in the personal archives until it was sold at auction in 2013, fifty years since that sun drenched day in Dallas. David Powers' forethought resulted in one of the most important historical documents from the fourth assassination of an American president. All of the items in this Grouping were from the personal archives of the David Powers Estate.

David F. Powers Special Assistant to JFK


An Eyewitness to the Death of his President and Closest Friend

Except for the First Lady, David Powers was the closest friend present that day in Dealey Plaza when the President was assassinated on a bright beautiful autumn day. Close friends for decades, Powers was in the Secret Service car directly behind the presidential limousine and witnessed the death of his president and friend.

From that moment until their return to the White House hours later aboard Air Force One, he stayed with the grieving former First Lady and the President's body, until she was reunited with her children late in the evening in the White House.

58. Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson

Lyndon Baines Johnson succeeded to the U.S. presidency after the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He has been described as the man with the best experience to be president, being one of only 4 politicians (the other three were John Tyler, Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon) to have held the four highest elective offices; U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, U.S. Vice President and U.S. President.

Presented in this Grouping is Vice President Johnson's Vice Presidential 1961-1963 automobile flag. Vice-presidential flags are less common than U.S. Presidential flags as they are not produced in the same numbers as presidential counterparts, nor are they displayed as often.

Accompanying the flag is archival material, which includes photographs of LBJ during his vice-presidency and photographs taken during the fateful Texas Trip on which Vice President Johnson and Mrs. Johnson accompanied President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy. Among the ephemera are the Vice President's account of the assassination and other documents relating to President Kennedy's final days and Johnson's own advancement to the U.S. Presidency.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson


Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and The Transition of Power

Vice President Lyndon Johnson's flag is likely one of the most important Vice Presidential flags in all of the Vice Presidents who received a flag when it was created in the 20th century. It is a significant artifact due to the notoriety of the circumstances of his succeeding to the Office of the President in 1963.

Due to the extreme circumstances caused and the uncertainty of the events it was thought by many that the country might be in the midst of a foreign plot to destabilize the political system with plans against other officials. This period lasted some three to four hours after the assassination of President Kennedy. Vice President Johnson, it is believed by historians, was one such high official who considered this a real possibility. The necessity to take the oath of office due to those circumstances was paramount in Vice President Johnson's mind. He was convinced that a new President had to be in charge immediately in order to ease concerns and reassure the country and the community of world leaders. Though a popular young leader was struck down, the office and institution of the presidency was not based on any individual as dictatorships and oligarchies usually are. Instead, in a democracy, power is not based on one person but on the institution with checks and balances to protect the Republic from the excesses of a few or many. The U.S. Presidential Flag always represents an institution, not a specific person. In a monarchy the royal standard symbolizes personal hereditary rights. The U.S. Constitution gives an individual rights and responsibilities only for as long as he serves as president.