Heart of the Collection



01. First Flag Act 1777: 13 Stars, Revolution & Early Federal Period

Examine six flags dating to the early days of the United States. The diverse designs of the star fields reveal the search the people's search for a unified identity.

02. Second Flag Act 1795: Official & Unofficial U.S. Flags

The first five presidents of the United States served under dynamic flags, when the number of stars and stripes, although officially prescribed by Congress, were in practice, mutable. A reflection of the truly popular nature of the United States flag as a “People’s Flag.”

03. The Napoleonic Period & The War of 1812, 1799 - 1815

The War of 1812 as fought in North America between the United States and the United Kingdom was an extension of the Napoleonic Wars fought between the United Kingdom and her allies against Napoleonic France.

04. The Flag 1818 to The Civil War - 3rd Flag Act

The years between 1818 and American Civil War were years of Expansion, Political Reform, Sectional Strife and Turmoil which saw the flag change 11 times.

05. Grand Luminary Flags, 1796 - 1912

The arrangement of stars in the U.S. flag was not considered when the first flag act was passed in 1777. This left the star pattern to the whim of seamstresses and sempstress and not surprisingly there were as many variants as there were makers which makes the early flags highly collectible.

06. Mexican American War, 1845 - 1848

The War with Mexico was fought between 1846 and 1848. Flags in from this era include an extremely rare Louisiana Militia National Color and the 28 Star, No. 1 U.S. Ensign of the USS Constitution, which saw service in Mexican waters just prior to the outbreak of hostilities.


07. Origins of the American Civil War, The Flag at War with Itself, 1851 - 1861

The American Civil War was fought between the Northern and Southern States. Nullification, States rights, Slavery and Abolition were all causes of internal discord. Preceding the outbreak of armed hostilities there was a period of simmering tensions wherein the U.S. was tearing itself apart.

08. American Civil War & The Capture of the First American Flag, 1861 - 1863

When the American Civil War began there were 33 stars on the United States Flag, a star-field count that saw the nation tearing itself apart. The period of 1861 to 1863 saw the nation transition into the 34 star flag with the admission of Kansas.

09. American Civil War Regimental Colors, 1863 - 1865

During the American Civil War, national and regimental colors were used both ceremonially and tactically. The tradition of distinctive military flags as a rally point can be traced to Antiquity. The modern practice of unit flags originated in Europe, carried through to their use by the U.S. Army.

10. American Civil War, 1863 - 1865

As the American Civil war entered its third year flags acquired a greater role on both the battlefield and on the home front. This grouping includes flags that represent both the evolution and maturation of the Union's military and naval efforts.

11. General George Armstrong Custer Battle Flags, Artifacts & Ephemera

Custer - few names in American history are as recognized as that of General George Armstrong Custer. Both praised and pilloried, he remains a important figure. Presented here are flags and artifacts associated with him.

12. General Philip Sheridan & U.S. Mounted Troops

Contained herein are prints and artifacts associated with the Union's ablest cavalry general, Major General Phillip H. Sheridan. Sheridan's leadership and performance changed the U.S. Mounted Troops forever, who now for the first time were organized and utilized as a separate combat arm.

13. Naval Boat Flags, 1861 - 1865

During the period of the U.S. sailing navy and the early steam-powered navy, nearly all ships possessed small boats. Like their mother ships, these gigs or small boats carried a stern staff for a small ensign. The small ensigns flown on these gigs were called Boat Flags by the U.S. Navy.

14. Confederate States of America, 1861 - 1865

Confederate flags remain both iconic and controversial to the present day and many are unaware of their origins. When the recently seceded states met to form a new government one of the happy tasks that accompanied the building of their new nation was the selection of a national flag.

15. Abraham Lincoln: A Nation Mourns and Remembers, 1865

Abraham Lincoln assassination in 1865, at the end of the Civil War, plunged the nation into deep grief. His 20 day funeral procession, which mirrored in reverse his triumphal 1860 post-election journey to Washington allowed millions to connect personally, if briefly, with their fallen president.


16. The Era of Reconstruction, 1865 - 1876

As important as the war itself was the tangled problem of how to reconstruct the nation, as the U.S. struggled to rebuild, reunite and reconstruct itself after the American Civil War, the national flag bore 36 stars.

17. Westward Expansion - The U.S. Flag moves West

After the American Civil War, the Trans-Continental Railroad was completed and the United States turned its gaze westward. The period between 1867 and 1912 was as dynamic for the nation as the first quarter of the 19th century with the admission of 12 new states.

18. The Centennial Era The Centenary of the U.S.

Overlapping the Westward Expansion was the centenary of the U.S., the centenary was the theme of the Centennial International Exhibition, which was successfully held in Philadelphia. This was the first "World Fair" and it offered the nation an opportunity to see a whole host of different flags.

19. Grand Army of the Republic

The Grand Army of the Republic was the principle veteran's organization for discharged soldiers and sailors from the Civil War. Formed in 1866, it originally envisioned and a fraternal organization that attempted to continue the fellowship formed by the veterans' common wartime experiences.

20. Confederate Veterans Associations

After the Union victory in the Civil War, the flag of the defeated Confederate States of America soon fell into disuse. After the end of the Reconstruction Era and with the formation of the United Confederate Veterans and the Daughters of the Confederacy, the flag went through a rebirth.

21. Flags in American Politics, 1800s - 2000s

American political campaigns have been distinguished by what some might call the redundant display of the national flag. However, from the start, the flag has not just been the emblem of the national government, but rather the flag of the people and it has been used extensively by political aspirants.

22. Unofficial Flags - "The Flags That Never Were"

The Flags That Never Were€ refers to rare U.S. flags with star counts that were never official. These unofficial flags represent the power of symbol, for sanctioned or not, citizens of certain states wanted to be represented on the flag whether or not it was in compliance with the 3rd Flag Act.

23. U.S. Conversion Flags - New Life for Updated Flags

In the 19th century the nation was still dynamic changing from 17 to 48 stars in a century. In order to mitigate the expense of continually making new flags upon the admission of additional states, the U.S. Navy and Army simply converted obsolete flags to the current star count.


24. American Military 19th Century

After the Civil War, the U.S. Army began to look at itself as a single entity rather than as a collection of various units and this view was perhaps best exemplified by the creation of a single flag for the Headquarters of the Army of the U.S.

25. The Spanish American War

The Spanish American War was America's first foreign war, fought between the U.S. and the Spanish Empire in 1898 as a result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence. This Grouping includes flags U.S., allies and adversaries.

26. The Philippine Insurrection and Nationhood

The Philippine Insurrection was fought between the U.S. and the self-styled First Philippine Republic. The conflict resulted from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence after annexation by the U.S.

27. Progressive Era

In the U.S. the Progressive Era 1890 - 1917, was a period of economic prosperity, political reform and social activism. During this era the U.S. flag underwent several modifications due to the rapid admission of the states of Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.

28. Trapuntos - Japanese and Oriental Embroideries, 1890s - 1939

A trapunto is a layered or filled embroidery that has additional stitching, padding or loft to give the embroidery a three dimensional effect. They were popular from the 1890s until the Second World War and are now a highly sought after war souvenir.


29. World War I - Central Powers

The World War I lasted from 1914 to 1918, fought between the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire) and the Allies. Presented in this grouping are national flags, ensigns and ephemera for the Central Powers

30. World War I - Allies

Opposing the Central Powers during WWI was the Triple Entente (the U.K., France and Russia). The Allied Powers came to include the British Commonwealth, Western Europe, Japan and the U.S. Presented here are a representative Grouping of flags and ephemera from these allied powers.

31. World War I - U.S.

The World War I - U.S. Grouping contains several significant flags, guidons, pennants, artifacts, equipment, photographs and memorabilia from WWI, which began almost a century ago.

32. World War I - Captain Claus Emanuel Ekstrom.

This Grouping contains the flags and personal artifacts of Captain Claus Emmanuel Ekstrom, the adjutant of the 74th U.S Infantry Regiment during WWI. Capt. Ekstrom served with this regiment while they were being trained and organized at Camp Devin, MA.

33. U.S. Liberty & Victory Loan Flags & Ephemera.

The flags and ephemera of the U.S. Liberty & Victory Loan Grouping are a significant and often overlooked aspect of WWI. There were four issues of bonds, all collectively referred to as "Liberty Bonds" and a fifth and final issue called "Victory Bonds."

34. U.S. Service Flags - A Nation Supports

The U.S. Service Flags Grouping contains samples of various service flags introduced during the WWI to designate family members serving in the Armed Forces. If a member of the family was killed, the star that was representative of the deceased loved one would be changed to gold.

35. U.S. Patriotic Pillow Covers

Patriotic & souvenir pillows and pillow covers were often presented to female family members or sweet hearts by soldiers and sailors about to embark for the front. Often framed instead of actually used these are an excellent example of items used to boost civilian moral on the home front.

36. American Ensigns, Jacks, Flags, Pennants and Named Vessels

These ensigns, jacks and flags were all worn by named American naval or merchant vessels from the Revolutionary War to the present.

37. The Great Depression 1929 - 1940

The Great Depression devastated the U.S. economy but not the spirit of the American people. The U.S. flag remained a potent symbol of the relief the U.S. government and the aid it sought to provide to the people.

A World at War WORLD WAR II

38. U.S. NAVAL

The U.S. became belligerent in WWII after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the attack against the U.S. naval base destroyed the battleships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The destruction of the battleship USS Arizona has become the singular symbol of America's entry into WWII.

39. U.S. Military

During WWII the U.S. Army grew from a domestic force of 1,400,000 personnel in 1941 into a global force of over 8,300,000 by 1945. Correspondingly this WWII U.S. Military Grouping contains flags from the period; indulging national flags, unit colors, corps flags, guidons and ephemer.

40. United Kingdom & Commonwealth

The United Kingdom and the British Empire participated perhaps like no other nation during World War II, and presented here are flags and ensigns from every part of that far flung empire which included soldiers, sailors and airmen from many races, ethnicities and nationalities.

41. Allies

World War II was fought globally by over three dozen different nations. Those countries opposing the Germany-Japan-Italy block were initially styled as the ÂœAllies.

42. Strategic Diplomacy

This small Grouping is devoted to the strategic aspects of WWII. As a global war, fought simultaneously on several fronts it was necessary for the Allies to direct and husband resources; prioritize campaigns and undertake actions that often had hemispheric consequence

43. AXIS

The Axis were those nations opposed to the Allies during WWII. Because of political and cultural practices in both Germany and Japan flags from these nations are plentiful. Presented in this Grouping are many Axis flags, artifacts and ephemera.

44. U.S. Civilian Flags & Ephemera

Morale on the American home front was critical to Allied success during WWII. This took many forms and many of the effort to create and increase moral utilized flags and flag related ephemera.

45. General George V. Strong

Brigadier General George V. Strong (1880-1946) was a graduate of West Point and a career army officer. Strong served as Ass. Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and was the Commanding General of the VIII Corp (1941) and served as Chief of Army Intelligence from 1942-1944 when he retired.

46. General Robert L. Eichelberger

The General Robert L. Eichelberger's career spanned decades, commencing with his 1906 graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His most notable service came during WWII, where he served under General of the Army Douglas MacArthur in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater.

47. Blood Chit Flags - The Aviator's Last Hope

Rescue identification patches or "blood chits", have been regularly worn by U.S. airmen from WWII right through to the present day. They were inspired by similar patches and devices carried by pilots in earlier conflicts.

48. Flag Officers Flags - The Colors of Command

Flag Officers Flag originated during the American Revolutionary war but then sadly fell into disuse, only to be revived again during the American Civil War.



49. Cold War - NATO

The last half of the 20th Century was one of the few times in human history when a war was described by what did not happen rather than chronicling a number of armed conflicts.

50. Cold War - Warsaw Pact

The Warsaw Pact was the Soviet military response to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It was formed as a component of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, an organization to which the communist states of central Europe and the Soviet Union belonged.

51. Cold War - Non-Aligned

A direct result of the Cold War was the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which was founded in 1961 by nations that did not align with either the Western or Soviet power blocs.

52. Cold War - China

During the Cold War China represented a unique challenge. The Civil War resulted in two Chinas – the Peoples Republic of China on the mainland and the Republic of China on Taiwan. Presented here are period flags which represent the dichotomy China presented to the world in this era.

53. Cold War - Korea

The Korean peninsula was the first confrontation of the Cold War. The Korean War was a war fought between the Republic of Korea in the south and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, but each side was aided by powerful factions and it was fought primarily by surrogates.

54. Cold War - Vietnam

The Vietnam War (1955 – 1975) was the most protracted military conflict of the Cold War.

55. Private Dao Van Duc Viet Cong

This Grouping is an extraordinary collection of a Viet Cong soldier’s flags, memorabilia and soldier personal items that was acquired in Vietnam by Mr. Jean Philippe Martinet from Viet Cong veteran Mr. Dao Van Duc.

56. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1963

The flags, photographs and reports which comprise the President John F. Kennedy Grouping are some of the jewels of the Zaricor Flag Collection, and include the two flags from the presidential limousine when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas 22 November 1963.

57. David F. Powers Special Assistant to JFK

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

58. Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded to the U.S. presidency after the assassination of President Kennedy. He has been described as the man with the best experience to be president having held the four highest elective offices; U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, U.S. Vice President and U.S. President.


59. Space & Moon Flags and Artifacts

No other space artifact is more symbolic of the nation that spearheaded mankind's efforts in space than Space Flown United States Flags and flag related artifacts.


60. 9/11

The 9/11 terror attacks murdered 2,996 people while collapsing the twin towers of the World Trade Center and a section of the Pentagon. The rubble of the WTC was the center of an extensive rescue and recovery effort manned by volunteers who came from across the nation to aid in the effort.

61. Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan

This Grouping contains flags the GIs brought back from the Gulf War (1990-1991). Included here are an Iraqi and Kuwaiti flags and more surprising a Liberian flag brought back by U.S. Marines who were diverted for a rescue mission while enroute to Iraq.

62. Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom

Operation Iraqi Freedom was the name for the coalition to liberate Iraq in 2003. After the overthrow of Ba'ath Party government and suppression of Saddam Hussien’s forces the U.S. reestablished an embassy compound in Baghdad, Iraq.

63. Iraq Veteran Sgt. Tony Purtscher

Sergeant Anthony Purtscher was deployed to Iraq with the 3rd platoon B Company, 3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. Like soldiers from the beginning of time he collected war trophies.


64. Evolution of U.S. Presidential and Vice Presidential Flags, 1902 - 1981

Explore the evolution of the design and diverse uses of the United States Presidential flag. Observe the different office and automobile flags used U.S. Presidents through history.

65. The Decatur Family Naval Collection, 1840s - 1955

The name Decatur is one of the most revered names in American naval history. Included in this collection is the number one ensign of the USS Constitution from her service as the flagship of the Mediterranean Squadron.

66. U.S. Government Flags, 1890 - 2000

When the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789 the first government bureaucracies were created. In the ensuing two plus centuries the U.S. government has authorized a bewildering array of flags and pennants to represent departments, bureaus, agencies, offices, commissions and individuals.

67. U.S. Diplomatic Flags 20th Century

The diplomats sent abroad by the U.S. Government to man embassies and consulates identify these facilities with the Stars and Stripes. The diplomats themselves had no distinctive flags until the 20th century.

68. Post WWII - Flags of the U.S. Army

Since WWII the U.S. Army has created a wide array of flags for use in its world-wide deployment. Perhaps the most significant flag created is the U.S. Army Field Flag. It is intended for use in the field in place of the Army’s ceremonial.

69. Capture the Flag

Captured flags capture the imagination! In ancient Greece as well as Rome, many big victories in the military were often formally celebrated with a display of the captured arms along with notable cultural objects that were commonly referred to as war trophies.

70. Flags of the U.S. Marine Corps - 20th Century

The U.S. Marine Corps flags are distinguished by their use of red for the background color of most of their colors, flags and guidons.

71. Flags of the United States Coast Guard, 1874 - 1966

The flags and ensigns of the U.S. Coast Guard have always utilized distinctive vertical stripes. Presented here in this Grouping are a complete collection of the various types of flags used by the US Customs Service, the U.S. Revenue Marine and the U.S. Coast Guard after 1915.


72. Star Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum - 13 Star Flags

The enduring popularity of the 13 star flag caused many of the flags from the Centennial and successive eras to be gifted to the SSBFH. Included in this grouping are some of the 13 star U.S. flags that were formerly in that collection.

73. Star Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum - 15 Star Flags

The Battle for Baltimore during the War of 1812 culminated in the Defense of Ft. McHenry where the invading British were repulsed and the city saved. At that time the flag of the United States, as a result of the 2nd Flag Act of 1795, bore 15 stars and 15 stripes.

74. Star Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum - 1930s Girl Scout Flags

These flags remind us of the importance and of the forgotten role of the Girl Scouts in the 1930s when they participated in service projects to support local relief efforts during the Great Depression.

75. Star Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum - 19th Century Flags

Presented in this Grouping are 38 star U.S. flags, used from 1877 to 1890. The 44 star flag (1891-1896) represents Wyoming and The 45 star flag enjoyed a longer tenure (1896-1908) and comprises the bulk of the Grouping.

76. Star Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum - 20th Century Flags

All of the flags in this Grouping bear a rectilinear star field, and represent the passage of unusual, and fanciful star patterns from routine use, and the flag took on an appearance more familiar to modern viewers.

77. Star Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum – 20th Century 48 Star Flags

The 48 star flag was used for 47 years. It was created in 1912 after statehood was granted to New Mexico and Arizona. It ushered I the rigid rectilinear 6 rows of 8 stars each and served the nation during two World Wars, The Great Depression and the beginnings of the Cold War.

78. Star Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum 49 & 50 Star Flags

This Grouping from the Star Spangled Banner Flag House includes the 49 and 50 star U.S. flags from that institution, collected between 1959 and 1997.

79. Star Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum - Collection Flags

Star Spangled Banner Flag House is one of the oldest museums open to the public in Baltimore. As one of the earliest organizations dedicated to the study of flags it became a repository for flags from other eras, and amassed one of the most significant flag collections in the nation.


80. American Collectors - MH de Young

As the premier repository in San Francisco, the de Young Museum came to house a number of important flags associated with early California history; the Palio Contradas, France, Europe, the American acquisition of the Philippines, and WWI..

81. American Collectors - Calvin Bullock, 1920 - 1966

The flags in this Grouping are from the collection of Calvin Bullock, promoter of Anglo-American goodwill during WWII. He used these flags to decorate his offices in New York City. His collection contained the world leading collections of memorabilia pertaining to Napoleon and Lord Nelson.

82. American Collectors - Boleslaw and Marie-Louise d'Otrange Mastai

Boleslaw Mastai started collecting in the mid 20th century and amassed to greatest private flag collection in the U.S., which he detailed in his ground breaking book The Stars and The Stripes; The American Flag from Birth of the Republic to the Present.

83. American Collectors - Louise Veninga

The particular dimension that Louise brought to the ZFC is one of the main reasons the ZFC has the depth and breadth it is noted for. She showed particular strength in the selection of the European and Chinese pieces as well as ability to spot items that had relevance when others could not see it. .


84. International Treasures - China - Peking Opera Flags from the Qing Dynasty

The colorful flags used in the Peking Opera are nearly always an integral part of the elaborate costumes worn by the performers, whose attire must enable the audience to distinguish; at first glance, a character's gender, demeanor, social hierarchy, nobility, and rank.

85. International Treasures - The People's Republic of China

Chinese flags, while common in China are uncommon in the West, especially items relating to the Cultural Revolution, whose significance, while not lost are slowly being forgotten in a modern and dynamic China as the still communist, one party state, comes to embrace the 21st century.

86. International Treasures - Italy, The Palio and The Vatican

The green white and red flag of Italy is deceptive in its simplicity. Included in this Grouping are examples of Italian national flags from both the Royal and Republican eras.

87. International Treasures - The 2nd German Reich, 1871 - 1933

This Grouping contains outstanding examples of German embroidery in the form of craft, guild, and social German organizations from both the late Imperial and Weimar eras that are rarely found outside Germany.

88. International Treasures - Flags of France

French flags have ranged from the resplendent to the ragged - elegant Fleur-de-lis of the monarchy to the tricolor of the French Revolution. A flag which has inspired tri-band flags the world over.


89. Maps & Prints

Maps and Prints cab be as fascinating as flags. This Grouping contains specimens dating from as early as 1784 and serve as useful and colorful support artifacts often enhancing an exhibition by establishing context, adding geographic interpretation or establishing a location.

90. Flag Monographs and Charts

Flag monographs and charts are an invaluable aid the study of flags. Included in this Grouping are 19th century flag charts detailing the evolution of the Stars & Stripes.