Obverse - -2

Obverse - -2

Obverse - 3

Obverse - 3



Reverse - 2

Reverse - 2




French Souvenir Scarf, WWI.

Sub-collection: Mastai - Early American Flags

French Souvenir Scarf, WWI.
This colorful French silk scarf was commissioned to commemorate America's entrance into World War I. It depicts oval cartouches of President Woodrow Wilson, General Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier marquis de Lafayette, General George Washington and the Statue of Liberty, a Centennial gift to the United States from the French Republic. The French inscription, "Gloire aux Americains, Souvenir de France," is centered among the images. Bordering the scarf are stylized stars and stripes, crossed United States and French flags and the flags of the Allied, or Entente, powers.

At first glance the scarf appears to celebrate the participation of the United States in the Great War, however Cornell University had dated the scarf to the time of the war, which would indicate that the piece was made to demonstrate the warm feelings among the French after Colonel Charles Stanton, a staff officer of General John Pershing, uttered the now famous line, "Lafayette, we are here." The juxtaposition of French and American symbols and personalities clearly attempts to illustrate solidarity between the two great republics.

Some of the fiercest fighting of the First World War occurred in Belgium and France, devastating the silk imprinting and embroidery industries. Machinery was needed for the war effort and decorative textiles were not a war production item. Ironically, a cottage industry making textile war souvenirs like this example, sprang into being, and some traditional textile, such as lace and small embroidery (See ZFC0524 & ZFC0573), underwent a minor revival as a result of the war. Scarves like this, in addition to lace handkerchiefs, pillow covers, table covers and decorative commemoratives became a popular item for sale to Allied soldiers.

This item was formerly part of the acclaimed collection of noted antique dealer Mr. Boleslaw Mastai and his wife Marie-Louise d'Otrange Mastai, formerly of New York City, and later Amagansett, Long Island. Their collection was the result of fifty years of collecting, research and study by the late husband-wife team. Mastai started collecting in the mid 20th century and amassed to greatest private flag collection in the United States, which he detailed in his ground breaking book, The Stars and The Stripes; The American Flag from Birth of the Republic to the Present, (published by Alfred Knopf, New York 1973). The work was hailed as a revelation of the American Flag as art and as social history.

Provenance: Ex-Mastai piece, acquired at auction in 2005 from Early American Auctions, Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

ZFC Noteworthy Flag


Mastai, Boleslaw and Marie-Louise D'Otrange, The Stars and The Stripes: The American Flag as Art and as History from the Birth of the republic to the Present, Knopf, New York, 1973.

Collins, Herbert Ridgeway, Threads of History, City of Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1979, p. 401.

Gloire Aux Américains: Souvenir de France, Cornell University Political Americana Collection, 29 April 2012, from: http://www.digitalgallery.emory.edu/luna/servlet/detail/CORNELL~9~1~78693~3988

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 11
Length of Fly 11


Is it framed? no


Are there stars on obverse? no
Are there stars on reverse? no


Has a Blood Stripe? no


Description of Crest/Emblem Souvenir Scarf


Nation Represented United States


Fabric Silk


Stitching Machine


Type of Weave Plain


Applique Sides Single Faced = Mirror Image Reverse


All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.


Condition Good
Damage Used, soiled.
Displayable yes


Date 1915-1920