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    Autographed West Point Class of 1941 - "The Black Class" - Pennant.
    The Unites States Military Academy Class of 1941, "The Black Class," was the last to graduate from West Point before the United States entered World War II, and just months later, most of these 20-year-olds were called upon to lead men into battle.

    The triangular felted wool pennant is approximately 9.5" X 27" and is made of two felt panels, a black hoist and a gray fly joined with a single row of zig-zag stitches, and finished with two black wool felt ties attached to a gray felt reinforcing hoist strip. The pennant is single faced with a stylized U.S. arms and an Old English font reading"West Point". The reverse is plain. The pennant is marked in black on the obverse "Class of '41" and is signed on the reverse, presumably by cadets whose names have been rendered illegible. One name may be that of Cadet Nininger.

    Pennants have their origins in antiquity, but in modern times collegiate pennants can be traced to the late 19th century and the rise of college athletics. Traditionally, pennants were made of felt and fashioned in the official colors of a particular institution. Originally simply letters, eventually they acquired team mascots, college crests and logos. West Point, as an institution of higher learning, was not immune, Originally, West Point pennants were quite spartan, a plain pennant with U.S.M.A. stitched on. Eventually, more elaborate pennants evolved as marketing and mass-production became factors.

    Of the 442 cadets who graduated from West Point in 1941, 36 would die in combat and one, 2nd Lt. Sandy Nininger, of the Philippine Scouts, was posthumously awarded the first US Army Medal of Honor in WWII. They were called the "Black Class" because of their antics at the "Point," but their youthful hijinks evaporated as they quickly found themselves leading companies, battalions and even regiments.
    This pennant would appeal to USMA Alumni, WWII, and vintage collegiate memorabilia collectors

    It is in fair condition - worn, creased, faded and soiled. It is complete and without holes.

    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: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 755

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