1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games Banner

Value (2008) | $500 Auction$1,000 Auction

This is a banner from the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. My dad was 18 years old and lived in Roanoke, Virginia, and wanted to go to the Olympics. And, uh, his parents said no. So he took the Model A Ford and he and a buddy drove from Roanoke to L.A. in 1932. Imagine what that kind of trip was. And, uh, his mom-- when she found out he'd left she feigned a heart attack to get the police involved, and they never could find him. So he went to the Olympics, got this banner off of the L.A. Coliseum, and came back to Roanoke, and we've kept it ever since. And I've had it, uh, since about 1955.

This in fact hung at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1932. The country was in the shadow of the Depression at the time. In fact, the world was. No other country bid to hold the Olympics that year. Los Angeles was the only city that put in a bid to host the Olympics.

Oh, okay.

So, what you've got here is one that actually hung in L.A., proclaiming proudly... It says, "Altius, citius, fortius."


Okay, which in Latin means?

Higher, swifter, stronger.

Right, so you have a cloth banner. All of the characters and graphics have been appliquéd, or ironed on. Colors are still vibrant. You can still see the red, white and blue. There's a little fading and a little fraying along the bottom edge, and there's some toning by the "S" in Los Angeles. It really does not detract at all from the visual quality, certainly, and from the value of the piece.


It's a really unique piece, and at auction, this type of items sells for $500 to $1,000.

Wow. That's interesting.

Appraisal Details

Rolling Meadows, IL
Appraised value (2008)
$500 Auction$1,000 Auction
Chattanooga, TN (July 19, 2008)

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