The historic flag, above hanging on the wall of the Reception Room, a grand ballroom,
is not the flag in its original form, but seen with modifications.
How does that impact the replication process? The decision has to be made to be authentic or to align with what visitors have seen daily.
We vote for authenticity when possible, and the DAR is in agreement.
Let’s look at examples of what we mean.
Note: Color differences due to varying lighting.
The original flag in its incarnation has been cared for with additions meant to assist in its preservation. For instance, the loops (original, right), and above, were probably not quite sturdy enough for the amount of use the grand flag was given. A velvet header was applied across the top later in it’s life; the loops were sewn onto the top of the velvet header. The header supporting the loops is quite large and not in keeping with the original proportions, but saved the loops. As we cannot open the original flag to see inside, we do not know how the interfacing attached; it may have pulled on the painted silk and contributed to its cracking over time.
We are recommending the flag be returned to its original design,
above, with reinforced loops which will go unnoticed.
What may be most shocking for most people is discovering the flag was originally a deep green, not the khaki color that everyone is used to seeing! The color we are looking to as original is only seen in small bits under lose trims, above left.
Although it will be a surprise, we believe it should go back to the original green,
especially because that aligns with the information in the
State Flag Senate Resolution (April 1963) and the DAR NSDAR History.
Washington State, like most states, also outlines the proper parameters for flag replication, and these deeper colors are called for in reproductions.
As we make our final decisions there will be more updates —
I leave you with a bit of history in pictures, below, courtesy of the DAR and the Washington State Archives. (Note the second image is the back of the first.)