This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Liberty Loan Flags (U.S.)

Last modified: 2016-07-01 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | liberty loan flags |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors




See also:


Introduction

"Liberty Loans" were the campaigns which sold "Liberty Bonds," the precursors of today's savings bonds. From what I've found, the first Liberty Loan in World War I issued bonds with a 3.5% interest rate, the second at 4%, and the third at 4.25%. There were also two further loan drives before the end of the war.

Interest was paid on the bonds every six months and there was a secondary market for them--unlike modern US savings bonds (but like other Treasury securities), they could be sold at the market rate. Unfortunately, the fact that the stated interest rate went up during the course of the war meant that the prices of the lower-rate bonds dropped. So the patriots who were first in line to buy at the beginning of the war lost part of their principal if they tried to sell the bonds before they matured. Harry Truman carried a grudge over losing part of his savings this way and was giving the Treasury a hard time about it when he was President three decades later.
Joe McMillan, 5 April 2004


Third Liberty Loan flag

image by Dave Martucci, 13 March 2006

Third Liberty Loan, 1917   
Awarded to any municipality or business that met its quota for the Third Liberty Loan (War Bond Drive) in 1917. Any entity that exceeded its quota was entitled to add a blue star for each quota match. In other words, a flag with two stars symbolized the subscribers raised three times their quota. Size and placement of the stars varied.
Dave Martucci, 13 March 2006

  image by Pete Bochek, 19 February 2008

The flag is one of two variants I have seen of the special award flag for the Third Liberty Loan of 1918. One with the two stars and one without - the two stars indicate municipality raised three times its allotted quota. The flag of the Fourth Liberty Loan, which is similar but has 4 vertical stripes and no stars. The Liberty Loans were national efforts to raise extra money for the War effort; the loans were interest-free (at least I think so; none of the literature mentions any) funds given by US Citizens and repaid by the US Government after the War. In many cases, the loaners forgave the loan after the War. I am unaware if the First or Second Liberty Loan Drives had any flag associated with them, but by the time of the Third Liberty Loan, organizations, corporations or municipalities could sign up many individual donors to make the target amount and get a 3'x5' flag for their efforts. I have always thought that maybe this design is a combination of the NSF and the proposed flag of the Four Freedoms that was briefly considered as a flag for the UN before the end of the War. That flag was white with 4 vertical red bars that did not touch the edges of the flag.
Dave Martucci, 5 April 2004

Third Liberty Loan - Industrial Honor flag


image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 June 2016 based on photo submitted by Howard Martin, 19 July 2007

The Puerto Rico-like flag with six stars and five stripes submitted by Howard Martin is the Industrial Honor Flag of the Third Liberty Loan, as in the latest NAVA News.
David, 27 July 2008


Fourth Liberty Loan flag

  image by Dave Martucci, 13 March 2006

Fourth Liberty Loan, 1918
Awarded to any municipality or business that met its quota for the Fourth Liberty Loan in 1918. Any entity that exceeded its quota was entitled to add a blue star for each match of their quota. Size and  placement of the stars varied.
Dave Martucci, 13 March 2006


War Record flag

  image by Ivan Sache, 16 December 2006

The "War Record" flag was given to schools and institutions which had exceeded their quotas for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Liberty Loan campaigns each. There was an article on this in American Vexillum "THE OTHER SERVICE FLAG or McIlroy's Revenge!" by Richard R. Gideon, with David Martucci. It was at www.americanvexillum.com/other_service_flag/other_service_flag.htm: "a War Record Flag was offered to every school district which had subscribed its full quota in the Third and Fourth Liberty Loans and which met its quota in the Fifth Loan. This War Record Flag contained four vertical bars and one 'tally mark,' and when possessed by any school district means that that district has met every war demand."
Ned Smith, 16 December 2006


Victory Loan flag

  image by Dave Martucci, 18 June 2010

  image by Dave Martucci, 18 June 2010

The flag (or actually banner as displayed--there were both forms) was the official US Treasury Honor Flag for the Fifth War Loan (also known as the Victory Liberty Loan) after the end of World War I (the bond drive ended in early 1919).
Dave Martucci, 18 June 2010