The Zaricor Flag collection: Two Centuries of Concord & Conflict

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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.

In the ZFC are over 3,500 artifacts, divided into sub-collections containing:

  • 900 United States flags,
  • 600 Civil, State and maritime flags,
  • 700 Foreign flags,
  • 700 Flag related items: pins, jewelry, post cards, trapuntos & memorabilia,
  • 200 Historic quilts, many patriotic with some containing or made with flags,
  • 430 Reference books, pamphlets, posters, and photographs relating to flags.

The ZFC represents:

  • Most significant collection of earliest flags of American history, 13 to 29 stars.

  • Two remarkable flags from Capt. James Clephan, RN: was awarded the Union Jack from the battle for gallantry at Trafalgar in 1805 and is now the only surviving Union Jack from that battle. Also, Capt. Clephan, seven years after the battle of Trafalgar captured the American privateer Blockade during the War of 1812 and with it what is now the only surviving 17 star/17 stripe U.S. Ensign/flag.

  • U.S. Presidential flags and colors from 1902 to present.

  • A collection of period US flag star counts with only three gaps.
    • Named flags associated with the notable historic events: American Revolution, Federal Period, War of 1812, the Industrial Revolution, Mexican War, Abolitionist Era, Manifest Destiny, American Civil War, assassination of Abraham Lincoln, first veterans organization GAR, Centennial Era, Westward Expansion, Spanish American War, a collection of 19th century political flags, Presidential flags from 1902 to the 1989, WWI, Women's Suffrage Movement, Central American military Campaigns, WWII, D-Day, Korean Police Action, Cold War Era, assassination of President John F. Kennedy, War in Vietnam, the Space Race including one of only four flags from the surface of the moon (EVA), Desert Storm, 9/11attack on the World Trade Center, War in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus captured flags from the early 19th century to the present including the first American Flag captured in the American Civil War.

    • Named flags associated with important people:
      • Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Howard Hughes, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Alan Shepard & Edgar Mitchell and U.S. generals Custer, Eisenhower, Burnside, Lawton, Sheridan, Vandergrift, Wilson, Hesketh, Strong, Eichelberger, Thomas & Ridgway.

    • Named flags associated with vessels, aircraft, spacecraft and places:
      • American Privateers Minerva and Blockade, USS Constitution, USS Phelps,USS Francis Scott Key, USS Anchon, CSS Alabama, CSS Patrick Henery, HMS Penelope, HMS Spartiate, New York Worlds Fair, Faith 7, Gemini 9, Apollo 7,10,13,14,17, Fortress Monroe, VA, The Brooklyn Bridge, Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the Presidio of San Francisco and the World Trade Center.

    • A complete set of American Civil War Union Army combat arms flags.

    • Flags which relate to many of the US Presidents whom have died in office:

Zachary Taylor

Abraham Lincoln

William McKinley

Franklin D. Roosevelt

John F. Kennedy

  • An active Space and Moon collection, including one of the only two known flags to be displayed on the lunar surface and then returned to earth.

  • The ZFC contains six significant museum sub-collections: The Star Spangled Banner Flag House; The de Young Museum; The Soldiers and Sailors Museum and Memorial; The Army Ranger Museum: The Crow Art Partnership and the Chicago Historical Society.

  • There are eleven important personal collections or collectors within the ZFC: The Mastai Collection, William Guthman, Norm Flayderman, Howard Madaus, Calvin Bullock, Howard Hughes, Judge John Ball, Mathew Ridgeway, Robert Eichelberger, Jim Mountain and Louise Veninga.

  • The institutional and individual flag collectors, now included in the ZFC, represent an aggregate of over 860 years or organized or incidental flag collecting. Whether ragged or resplendent, these flags are silent witnesses to history, and by studying then, better understand our own history.

James J. Ferrigan III

Curator of the Zaricor Flag Collection