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United Service Organizations (U.S.)

Last modified: 2016-03-21 by rick wyatt
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[United Service Organizations flag] image located by Jan Mertens, 21 April 2010

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Flag Description

Website of the United Service Organizations, a private non-profit body founded in 1941 to provide recreation and entertainment to the US military: presents a photo of an old USO flag, much paled - white field, large blue sans serif initials "USO" between two thin red horizontal stripes bearing each three white five-pointed stars. These stars represent the six civilian agencies who helped found USO: Salvation Army, Young Men's Christian Association, Young Women's Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board.

Source of attached photo (reduced): eBay offer no. 170023722702 (end 7 Sep 2006) put up by "the-dawn-patrol" who commented:
"Very seldom seen large flag or banner for a USO facility in Hollywood during the war. It came out of Los Angeles about 20 years ago and at the time I was told it flew over the Hollywood Canteen USO where many stars of that era entertained the boys heading for the Pacific War. Great condition with only a couple of tiny areas of damage as seen in photo. A couple of stains on the white which might wash out but I would advise against it as it may overclean the flag. It measures 8 ft long by 5 1/2 ft wide (64 inches actual) it is double sided but the USO is reversed on the other side. Original rope to attach to the flagpole all intact."
Jan Mertens, 21 April 2010

Variant Flag

[United Service Organizations flag] image located by Jan Mertens, 21 April 2010

Here we see the USO flag motif with blue and red reversed: I have no idea whether this was a locally used variant (Vietnam) or if it ever existed in the cloth. The rendering may have been a mistake or perhaps someone did not greatly care, supposing - justly, I think - that the USO motif remained easily recognizable.
Jan Mertens, 30 April 2010

"Patch" Flag

[United Service Organizations flag] image located by Jan Mertens, 4 May 2010

I have also located a "patch flag" - my term - being white and bearing the present USO logo, a rectangular patch: Blue field bearing white initials "USO" and vertical row of three five-pointed stars on each side, plus red (outer) and white (inner) borders. This logo resembles the US national flag more than the previous one.

Large flag-like hanging, interestingly with wide-angle stars, reproducing the patch but not suggesting any relief (clickable photo):
This looks more like a flag (clickable photo): and - apart from the words and signatures - to my mind the really original design element is the exact reproduction, shadow included, of the logo.

Another example, with the patch slightly skewed and a slogan "Until Every One Comes Home." underneath in fine black script (patch and slogan accompanied by a "copyright" sign): However if you look carefully (clickable photo) you will see small reinforced holes for fixing this flag… cloth…

Jan Mertens, 4 May 2010