Japanese Silk Flag “Meatball”

Condition: Excellent

Base Material: Silk

SKU: JW3908 Category: Tags ,


Product Description: This Japanese Silk Flag “Meatball” is a textbook original piece, that was likely taken to the US as a war souvenir by a returning veteran. It’s made of a very nice quality fine silk, and measures  80″ x 37,” a nice size for display. The center of the flag features a printed red disk, that retains great original color. The edges are finished with neat machine stitching. At the hoist end, each corner has a correct triangular gold foil reinforcement, with intact ties for affixing this to a pole. This Japanese Silk Flag “Meatball” has normal creases from being stored folded for decades, and also shows light age toning and a few areas of very light discoloration. It looks great on display, and remains in a strong excellent condition.



Historical Description: The national flag of Japan is a rectangular white banner with a red disk at the center, representing the sun. It is most commonly known in Japan as “Hinomaru,” the Circle of the Sun. The first historical reference to this flag was in the year 701; the oldest surviving example predates the 16th century. Starting with the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the Hinomaru flag became an important patriotic symbol, and in 1870 it became the national flag used by the Imperial Navy and by merchant ships. The Navy also used, as its ensign and war flag, a version of the sun flag, called the Rising Sun flag, that featured 16 red rays emanating from the central disk. Both the Hinomaru sun flag, and the Rising Sun flag, were very important in Imperial Japan and during World War 2. Soldiers were traditionally given signed examples of the Hinomaru flag bearing the signatures of friends and family, along with short patriotic messages wishing them luck. After WWII, use of the traditional Japanese flags was restricted, though these restrictions were later eased. Japanese flags were eagerly collected souvenirs for American servicemen in the Pacific, and genuine wartime examples remain very collectible today.


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