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    USS Oklahoma (BB-37) [Attributed] - UNSERVICEABLE 45-Star Naval Ensign.
    This is an opportunity to acquire a flag attributed to the USS Oklahoma, one of the most overlooked ships of the attack on Pearl Harbor. According to the paperwork accompanying this flag, Dr. Clarence Rungee acquired this flag from the "Unserviceable Flag Locker" at Pearl Harbor and attributed this 45-star ensign to the USS Oklahoma.

    Prior to WWII, the U.S. Navy was able to supply most of its flag needs internally, as most navy yards had flag lofts, facilities where U.S. ensigns, jacks and commission pennants were manufactured. Some of these were quite large, like those at New York, Mare Island and Cavite in the Philippines. Besides manufacturing new flags, flag lofts also provided other textiles for ships - awnings, boat covers, seat covers for officer gigs and barges, wardroom tablecloths, bags, etc. Flag lofts also repaired flags for reissue. The United States Navy regulations stipulated: "When United States ensigns, union jacks, or commission pennants are surveyed and condemned as unserviceable for government purposes, they shall be appraised as of no value and burned." Accordingly, most navy base flag lofts had an "Unserviceable Flag Locker" where such flags were placed, including the base at Pearl Harbor. It is speculated that this ensign could have been aboard the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor as it bears evidence of having been submerged. However, unexplained, is the flag's presence on a ship that entered the US naval service in 1916, eight years after this flag became obsolete.

    This ensign is a 66" x 102" wool, 45-star, double appliqué, sewn-stripe flag finished with a canvas header and grommets. The flag has an illegible ship marking on the upper reverse hoist. Additionally, it has been marked, "UN - SVC - FOR ISSUE".

    Over the course of her career, the USS Oklahoma was awarded: the World War I Victory Medal; American Defense Service Medal with FLEET clasp; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one campaign star.

    This ensign is in Poor Condition - used, worn, faded and crocked with numerous separations on the stripes consistent with the damage that occurs from immersion in salt water.

    This flag was formerly in the collection of Dr. Clarence Rungee, and is accompanied by his original museum inventory sheet with identifying information.

    For those who did not receive a hard copy of the auction catalog, we present here the introductory comments and history of Dr. Rungee and his remarkable collection. If you scroll further, you will also find various contemporary newspaper articles, as well as a selection of the many letters of donation and transmittal which accompanied the collection and a categorization of the collection.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2019
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 626

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