Decor Tips Jan 1919 Pushing the SALE of flags and patriotic pictures.

Marc Lizer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 28, 1999
North Hollywood, CA
Now that the boys are beginning to return f rom the. camps and overseas there will be parades and reunions galore. Nobody knows as yet just when their own particular contingent of boys will come marching down the streets of the town, but it is well for the novelty and gift shop merchant to be prepared for some weeks in advance, in order to meet the rush demand that will be made upon them for flags and patriotic decorations of all kinds. A campaign of public information upon this subject will be sure to be productive of good results, and promote a steady trade in this line for several month 3 before the boys actually arrive: And not only for the soldiers should these flags be shown. The motorist wants a little flag, or cluster of them, to float from his machine; the student wishes one to be placed in a little bronze holder upon his desk; and when Februa.ry rolls around there are innumerable calls for pictures of our national heroes, and for flags and bunting to decorate the halls or schoolrooms where patriotic celebrations are being held. With all this field to draw from it would pay any novelty dealer to enter upon a regular flag campaign.

Catchy advertising is, of course, the first requisite and a couple of ads such as those quoted below would be sure to bring this matter to the thoughtful attention of a good portion of the general public: The first was that of The Hub, Litchfield, Ill.

Every Schoolhouse Every Home

Every Store Every Building should honor the AMERICAN FLAG by displaying it. Show the boys when they come marching home that you are proud of them and the grand work they have done by having the 'American Flag displayed. They will expect to be greeted by Old Glory, so do not disappoint them. The AMERICAN FLAG talks the language of freedom, so display it and show the people where you stand.

We carry all sizes and qualities. Drop in and pick out the size and kind you. want.

The advertisement was, of course, embellished with the cut of a flag.

Another ad particularly playing up the Victory celebrations, was run by J. Bacon. & Sons, Louisville, Ky.:

FLAGS FOR THE VICTORY PARTY Flags will be in enormous demand for the coming Peace and Victory celebration, and they may be hard to obtain. We have just secured an abundance of flags for this occasion-either for carrying or decoration.


This was followed by an extended quotation of flags, large and small.

Not alone the American Flag should be shown, but the standards of all the allies who, standing shoulder to shoulder, made possible the great world victory. There are in every city scores of citizens of English, French, Belgian, Italian and Greek descent who wish to honor the flag of their mother country, and these should be given an opportunity to purchase freely.

No better plan of stimulating this trade could be imagined than that adopted by Cunningham, Curtis & VUelch, Los Angeles, Cal., who had a flag sale that was advertised far and wide. Several weeks before the sale artistic folders were printed and mailed to their regular clientele, a stock of them also being kept on hand for personal distribution. The folders were on heavy white paper, with uncut edges, stamped with a flag, and lettered in blue, with initials of red:

The honor of your presence is cordially requested at our six-day


As a patriotic 'American, this sale will be of particular interest to you, showing the many ways in which you can express your enthusiasm for your country and your loyalty to your flag.

FREE SOUVENIRS on every day of the sale. I

nside the folder were quotations on flags of the allied nations, as well as the American Flag, in size from those small enough to wear in the buttonhole to those large enough to decorate a stage or public hall. Of course, only samples of the larger sizes of the large flags were kept in stock, and secured from the manufacturer or j obber on order.

Upon entering the store each visitor was handed a little card ;


Present this at the Souvenir Desk and get a souvenir.

Name ....................................

Address ..................................

The souvenir booth was located at the rear of the store - a very wise plan, for in order to reach it one had to pass down several aisles where patriotic merchandise of all kinds was displayed. At the booth the card was filled out, turned in, and each guest received a souvenir. This was a three-page blotter of red, white and blue; with celluloid cover on which was stamped a flag and one verse of "The Star Spangled Banner," together with the name and date of the sale.'

"These souvenir cards as they came in," said the manager, "were at once tabulated; and gave a splendid list when we wished to circularize any specialty." Wherever one turned the colors--red, white and bluemet the eye. Over the entrance hung a stand of flags of all the allies, and large triangular cards were placed in tlw w corners of the windows. These were printed in red aad blue on a white ground, ".-:kmerican and Allied \ a tv w ~ 1l;iz _ Sale." The front section on either side of the ^, .•e was devoted entirely to the sale of flags, one counter featuring the American flag; the other, those of the allied c. The stationery section featured khaki service paper, as well as note heads adorned with the service f ,;5. Here, too, were patriotic post cards and flag pict •, suitable for framing, together with little boxes of stickers. The jewelry section featured military frames of silver, brass and bronze, and little enamel pins T the coat lapel. The doll department showed character dressed as Columbia, Uncle Sam, Red Cross nurse, soldier and sailor.

Of course, in giving publicity to flags and patriotic ' ^- )ration one must not overlook his most valuable advertising medium---his show window. An eye-opener in •'ie way of a display of flags and decoration was recently , ~wvn by Little Joe's-a novelty store-of Baltimore, Md.

It was floored with flag bunting and the rear was draped with a big flag, while a pillar in the center was also wound with flag bunting. In front of the pillar stood the wax figure of a young woman, in skirt and waist made out of flag bunting, with a silk flag in her hand. Several tables at either side were spread with flags, and each held a wire rack filled with little silk flags of all the nations. Larger flags were set in racks in the background; while down in front were a goodly number of character dolls, soldiers and sailors predominating; between them being racks of little silk flags. There were also little paper tubes, which, when snapped, disclosed paper caps of red white and blue tissue paper; and tin horns, painted in the national colors.

The whole was a display calculated to bring to the attention of the public decorations of a patriotic nature, and when such were needed the minds of the public naturally turned to where they had seen them displayed in such elaborate profusion. :
This is an article from a framing magazine (Decor) published just after WWI (January, 1919).

Is that the Jingo-flag you are talking about?
Suffering from overload of pro-aggresion propoganda ... sorry for not comprehending the origin of this.

On the other hand .... what's the purpose of this original posting?
I am selling my oldest copy of Decor (on e-bay).

I scanned and then did an OCR on the articles (to put them the listing).

As a bonus to those who don't cruise e-bay, I thought it would be nice to get a glimpse into what the industry was saying 85 years ago about differnet things. So I posted parts of the issue on The Grumble.

I have a few old issue ranging from 1919 to 1949.

There are fascinating bits inside. I know the winning bidder will get the mag. But some of the stuff should be shared.

Sorry if you don't care the bits of framer history. I will know better for next time.
I for one enjoyed the glimpe back into framing history. Things haven't changed so much, have they?