1917 Mayhart Studio "A Living Flag" Photograph
Well, this has been in my wife's family for over 60 years. It's a photograph of over 1,000 military personnel at the Great Lakes training center that made an American flag. It's just amazing that they could get that many people together saluting and making the flag with the flagpole.
If we look at the lower right corner, we see that the Mayhart Studio is indicated, its location, in Chicago, dated 1917, which is a key year, because in April of 1917, the United States entered the First World War. So when we think about the idea of a living flag, this was something that was popular around 1917, 1918. So photographers like the Mayhart Studio would engage in a lot of planning. Because look at the perspective of this. The idea that someone was standing on a tower, maybe 60, 70 feet high, with a megaphone. If we look at the individuals in this picture super-close-up, you in fact do see that each of them are standing at attention and saluting. So the idea that President Wilson was considering entering the United States in a war that was very unfavorable, and that these images of the American flag, Woodrow Wilson himself, the Statue of Liberty, military emblems, these were all iconic images done in this living flag genre. Were this item to come to auction, an estimate would be $1,500 to $2,500.
I appreciate that, because it does have sentimental value, even to us about four generations later.
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