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World War I Service Flag
Maker not marked
Silk; wood
overall: 17-1/2"h x 18"w x 1/2"d; pole: 18"h x 1/2"dia.; flag: 13-1/4"h x 17"w
Gift of Glenn R. Kurzenknabe

World War I service flag. Red rectangular flag with gold fringe at right and left sides and bottom. At center of flag is white rectangle with blue five-pointed star painted at center. The flag hangs from a wooden dowel with gold-painted finials at either end. A red, white and blue cord is tied to pole for hanging.

During World War I, families with a man serving overseas often displayed red and white banners in a window. On these banners a blue star let neighbors and passers-by know a family member was in the military. A silver star indicated that the soldier had been injured; a gold star showed that the soldier had died. The Kurzenknabe family of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, hung this banner while their son, Charles (1888-1962), served in France as an Army musician.