This flagholder has the initials DAVKV
The light was in the wrong place when photo was taken and this is the best enhancement I can produce. Seems to be a W in center of cross and the 1914 at bottom tells us WW One vintage. Located in Armstrong County PA. We need to identify this one. Thanks JMT
Sent in by Bill Plack
Several have written the following - That it is a WW1 German Marker characterized by the Iron Cross in center.
I think the emblem is virtually the same at the Iron Cross Second
Class illustrated in this site. http://home.att.net/~david.danner/militaria/prussia.htm
and in Wikipedia.
Also see the other Mystery Organizational InsigniaBelow
I just stumbled onto your website and saw the Mystery Marker.
I don't know much about the subject of your site but I do recognize the Maltese cross on that DAVKV marker. That is a replica of a WW1 German "Iron Cross".
The Iron Cross (or Eikencross in German) was orginally created back in the 1870s during the Franco-Prussian War. Different levels of the award was issued for various levels of bravery. The Iron Cross in WW1 evolved to have the "1914" date at the bottom "arm" of the cross and a Crown at the top. The "W" in the center was for Kiaser Wilhelm, I believe. The 2nd class Iron Cross was suspended from a Black and White striped ribbon. The 1st Class Iron Cross, a higher award, was a pin without the ribbon that was attach to the breast of the tunic.
When Hitler invaded Poland on September 1939, the Iron Cross was changed to add the swastika in the center and "1939" at the bottom.
I hope this has helped. Maybe someone has told you this.
On your flagholder home page is a note from a Steve Cole, directly under
the Iron Cross "mystery" flagholder, which states:
"The Iron Cross (or Eikencross in German) was orginally created back in the 1870s during the Franco-Prussian War."
I thought you might like to correct his major error, the incorrect German for "Iron Cross":
From my 3-inch-thick 1883 Theime-Preußer kritisches Wörtebuch (German-English Dictionary):
€There is NO word beginning with "Eik".
€The dictionary actually goes from "Eigner" (owner, proprietor) directly to "Eil-" (used in compound words and giving a sense of speed, haste, movement to the main word with which it's used.)
While I do not find a specific listing in this dictionary for "Iron Cross" (the medal) either in English or German:
"Eisen" is the German noun for "iron"
"Eisern" the (basic) adjective meaning "iron, made of iron; fig. iron, strong, durable; unfeeling, hard.
Since "Kreuz", meaning "cross, crucifix; cross-bar", is a neuter "das"
gender noun, its adjectives would have the
The 1813, 1870, and 1914 Iron Crosses had three grades:
* Iron Cross 2nd Class (German: Eisernes Kreuz 2.
* Iron Cross 1st Class (German: Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse)
Note that Steve Cole's comment about the creation of the medal in the 1870s is also incorrect. Wikipedia is correct that it was first used as a medal by Friedrich Wilhelm III on 10 März 1813, according to my 1923 Brockhaus German encyclopedia.
Thanks for your wonderful Flagholder website. I just wish I had ancestry in YOUR "Tri-Counties" area of PA!
||This collection of photographs of Commemorative
Plaques and Flag Holders found in cemeteries was begun in June 2000. Flagholders
are present in most cemeteries and we tend to overlook them. We genealogists
focus on the names and the tombstones and pay little attention to these
markers. It isn't until we stop and take a closer look that we realize
the diversity that exists and the local history that is preserved in the
older markers. It becomes like a treasure hunt to tour a cemetery to find
a marker you have not seen before. Some are old and rusted and some are
brand new and shiny. Besides being interesting and reflecting history,
the flagholders are really very beautiful and their diversity is captivating.
Every cemetery is different in the frequency and mix of flagholders. In some, where a fire department is active, Fire Department member flagholders and their characteristic red flag, may outnumber all other military and organizational markers combined. In others, tragically, there are almost no flagholders of any kind to be found. This is probably a reflection of the cemetery caretaker staff that can't be bothered with them and has removed them. Much history is lost and honor that was left for the dead has been taken. I have been in areas where a cemetery with thousands of burials has almost no flagholders at all where flags are stuck directly into the ground, and another of equivalent size a couple of miles away may have almost as many flagholders as tombstones. Both American and organizational flags may be displayed in these flagholders.
The mix of flagholder commemoratives reflects the values and the social mix of the community. I have discovered the past existence of extinct social organizations that I never heard of and am having a great time tracking down what they were and when they existed. I have found commemorations of activities and groups I would never have known existed. You will see what I mean when you tour these pages and look at the amazing treasures my cemetery rambles have uncovered. Even more surprising, organizations that I thought were long gone, I have discovered to be still in existence and frequently supporting web pages of their own. While the Secret Societies and Fraternal Organizations have lost membership since their heyday in the late 1800s and early 1900s, many are still in existence.
As to collecting, that should be done ONLY with a camera. I use a digital camera, a SONY Mavica, that uses floppy disks for storage. I start out in a cemetery with the camera and a box of blank diskettes, changing them as I fill them. I may have a car mug of coffee with me which I have to be careful not to leave standing on someone's tombstone as I have occasionally done. It takes only a few days of such "prospecting" to become very familiar with the commonest flagholders. One quickly develops an eye for the new or unusual. Even color variations of familiar markers add to the "collectible" diversity that we can photograph. By far most markers are various metals. The older ones rusted dreadfully, but the more recent ones are apparently galvanized or otherwise treated to prevent rust. In a few cemeteries I have seen some of the flagholders maintained by paint. In one, many markers of all kinds were painted with a gold paint that gave them a gilded look. In another (apparently someone had some paint they needed to get rid of) many markers, including military ones, were painted a very garish bright blue completely inappropriate to the original design of the markers. At least they were not rusted. I have discovered a few, very few, plastic markers. To be honest, they are usually so well done that you have to touch them to know.
Never, ever remove a flag holder from its place. Some person or organization who cared about that person left it there to honor them and you must not interfere with that. Unfortunately we do sometimes find broken or discarded markers in the hedgerows or trash heaps otherwise separated from their appropriate places. I have a few broken markers here that were given to me by people who found them in such a place or condition that they could not be reunited with their proper place. According to Dick McCracken, retired Director of Veterans Affairs in Bradford County PA, "Cemeteries cannot refuse to accept these flagholders; it is a criminal offense to remove them for any purpose, including mowing, etc. It is also a criminal offense to attempt to pawn or scrap one." His comment applies to the government funded modern military markers. I do not know what laws if any apply to the many other markers. In any case, it is definitely an immoral thing to do to remove them. Here in New York State, I have been in a local cemetery with many thousands of burials and only about ten flagholders. All of these were only the modern military ones. All others had disappeared for what reason, I do not know. I have no doubt that markers have been placed in that cemetery of long duration at various times, and now there are none of any kind except those mentioned.
One of the things I am discovering in a few of these organizations as my research progresses, is that some may have metamorphosed into something very different from the organization that was in effect when your ancestor was a member. Many of the organizations have a consistent philosophy and procedure over time and their present day publicity materials may be very similar to the ideology that your ancestor believed in. However, others appear to have turned into quite radical organizations that may be very different from the more mainstream group to which your ancestor belonged. Also, it may be that the names of some depleted or defunct organizations have been taken over by more radical elements that may not represent the original ideology of the organizations that used the same name. The purpose of this warning is to make you aware of possible changes and to prevent you from assuming that today's organization is the same as the one your ancestor belonged to.
Conversely, it is important to judge these organizations in their historical context. They represented the accepted thinking of their time. While some may have early ideology that horrifies us in today's world, many have moderated their positions and no longer support their early principals. Many have evolved with society to represent more democratic and inclusive thinking.
So go ahead and take the tour. I have already suffered the wet feet and the rain and the hot sun, so you can do this from your computer desk in a nice warm and dry room. I have reduced these photos as small as I want to retain the clarity and detail. If they load slowly for you, compare that time to the time it would take you to hunt them down yourself. I too still have a lot to learn about these markers and I am sure it will be a long time before I see them all.
I have recently found some good reference works on fraternal organizations, so I will be adding brief histories to these pages as time permits.
All photos are by Joyce M. Tice unless otherwise noted. If you find something I don't have please submit it. If using a digital camera, turn the marker to the sun if you can, get as close as you can, and use your best resolution. Another idea I intend to try is to shine a flashlight at an angle on old markers in the shade to improve the clarity of the photo. I have also seen it suggested that you can reflect sunlight back on a tombstone or marker that is facing the wrong direction with a mirror. If you also photograph flags, it helps to have another person with you as it is really a three handed job. However, if you are alone just do your best to stretch the flag out and photograph it with the insignia showing. Long arms are helpful in this activity. Email the jpg file to me. If you are scanning a photo, use 200 dpi resolution and save as a jpg. Send by email. If you want to mail photos, email me for a mailing address. I can't visit every area of the country (and let's not forget the other countries), and the more areas that are examined for interesting flagholders, the better developed this site will be. AND it is fun to go treasure hunting in the cemetery with your camera.
December 2005 - I was very pleased recently that on an episode of Antiques Road Show, people brought in a flagholder they had purchased in an antique shop. The analyst who observed it, told them it had no value at all except in the cemetery where it commemorated the person intended. Since that one was Civl War related, he recommended they turn it over to S.U.V.
Thank you for printing that warning about steeling
Flag Holders from any cemetery.
There is also another big problem with Civil War Cannon Monuments that are used to mark Civil War plots within a cemetery. There is a man traveling around the country, searching for these cannons. When he finds one, he contacts the cemetery personnel and explains how vulnerable the cannon is to theft. He offers to purchase the cannon with the idea that it will be placed in a museum for all to enjoy. In the museum it will be well protected from theft. He even offers to purchase a replica non firing cannon of the same configuration to display in the cemetery. He pays the cemetery a price way below the actual value of the cannon. Then he sells the cannon to the highest bidder. It never sees the inside of a museum.
Cannons ordered from the Federal Government for use as monuments are not owned by the organization that ordered them. Ownership is retained by the Federal Government. The cannons are actually on loan and are subject to recall at any time. If a cemetery sells it's cannon and they do not have proof of purchase, then they are liable and can be prosecuted for the theft of Government property. The last we heard, the man was working the cemeteries in Michigan.
The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) is entrusted with the care of these monuments. Our Monuments Officers are continually visiting and inspecting these memorials and seeing to it that any damage is immediately taken care of.
Graves Registration Officer
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
General George Wright Camp 22
If you want to collect organizational memorabilia, try trivets. See
The A-Z Guide to Collecting Trivets by Margaret Lynn Rosack, 2004. Available
from Bordens or Waldenbooks or at www.collectorbooks.com
it means that I do have a photo of a flagholder or plaque but have not prepared the page yet.
The following sources have been consulted in identifying researching these organizations:
Encyclopedia of Associations, 35th ed., Tara E. Sheets, Editor, Gale Group, 1999.
Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Institutions: Fraternal Organizations,Alvin J. Schmidt, Editor, Greenwood Press, 1980.
Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Institutions: Social Service Organizations, Peter Romanofsky, Editor, Greenwood Press, 1978.
Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Institutions: Unions, Fink, Editor, Greenwood Press.
Hereditary Register of the United States of America. John Griffin Richardson Rountree, President, 1973.
History of the Pennsylvania Grange, Fred Brenckman, Pa. State Grange, 1949.
International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies & Fraternal Orders, Alan Axelrod, Checkmark Books, 1997.
The Meaning of Masonry, 5th ed., W.L. Wilmshurst, Gramercy Books, 1927, 1980.
I am a metalsmith specializing in metal care, preservation, restoration and repair. As such I always notice metal in need of care. This orientation is at work everywhere I go and over the years as I visit cemeteries, especially historic ones,I have been saddened by the appalling condition of bronze plaques and memorials. Since I work in the field of metal preservation, I keep telling myself that something should be done about this.
Bronze plaques and memorials have unique stories to tell.They dot the countryside by the thousands, no two alike. Great and small, formal and informal, they draw the readersí attention to an important person, place, or eventthat deserves to be remembered.
Every year thousands of new plaques and memorials are dedicated, not
to mention the ones in cemeteries honoring loved ones who have died.
They are all carefully selected and installed with the expectation that
they will serve as a permanent reminder for many generations. But,
due to years of neglect,
pollution, vandalism and just exposure to the weather, the majority of them have been muted by becoming unreadable. This is unfortunate because
the problem could have been prevented, or at leastsignificantly reduced, with some simple steps, using inexpensive materials and supplies.
Since I havenít seen anything being done about thisproblem I have decided
to start a campaign on my website WalkerMetalsmith.com, to bring people
together on behalf of these important parts of our cultural heritage; working to encourage a grass-roots volunteer movement to care for them.
Part one of this campaign is to focus attention on new plaques and memorials. To make people aware that they need to be preserved in good condition, so that they donít experience the devastation older ones have had to endure. My web site has free instructions showing how easy it is to maintain and care for bronze plaques and memorials. The best page to start is here:http://walkermetalsmith.com/memorial_restoration1.htm . This page has links to our essay/photo page illustrating the problem and the instruction page showing how to easily solve the problem.
Part two of my campaign is to teach people how to restorebronze plaques and memorials that have deteriorated. This is going to take more to get up and running, so I am proceeding at a slower pace. But, seeing to it that new plaques and memorials are properly cared for is a significant goal in itself. Especially since right now very little is being done.
Thank you in advance for checking us out and spreading the word about our site. If you like, we will be glad to keep you informed about how our project is evolving.
Sincerely, James R. Walker, Metalsmith
Hi Chris, That section of my site is a collection of Flagholders I have observed in cemeteries. It is not an attempt to identify all organizations. If an organization is not mentioned, it is because I have not run across a Flagholder from it. If you have a HIGH resolution photograph of such a Flagholder I can include it.
Subj: Another one...
Date: 11/28/2002 9:34:37 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: email@example.com (Chris Orth)
Thanks for your site on Flagholders & Plaques. One organization not mentioned is the "Order of Railroad Conductors". My grandfather was a member for many years. He carried a Hamilton railroad watch with an elaborate fob featuring the initials "ORC".
I was writing to update the link you have to our site at your page http://www.rootsweb.com/~srgp/flaghold/flaghold.htm
The link titled: "Marin County (CA) History - Fraternal Organizations" currently has the URL http://www.abaris.net/freemasonry/marin-fraternities.htm.
The new URL for "Marin County (CA) History - Fraternal Organizations" is http://mill-valley.freemasonry.biz/marin-fraternities.htm.
While the old abaris.net URL's will continue to forward for the foreseeable future, it will gradually be phased out in favor of the new freemasonry.biz URL's.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in updating this link.
We are pleased to continue with the fraternal history and have regularly updated the content to reflect my latest research: This includes the comprehensive centennial history of Mill Valley Lodge itself which is now included in the above history from its index page. We are also pleased to report that we receive many inquiries relative to the information this history contains from genealogists, family historians, and collectors. The inquiries seem to validate the usefulness of the site to the public.
Thank you for maintaining this link.
Stan Bransgrove, PM
Mill Valley Lodge No. 356, F & AM
I just found the website of a place that sells some of the cemetery standards. I did not know that the individual war standards were still available.
The URL is http://www.balchflags.com/
|First Added to the Site on 04 JULY 2000
By Joyce M. Tice
You are the
visitor since July 4, 2000 when this page was introduced
Copyright 2000, 2004 by Joyce M. Tice
Interesting Guesses on the Mystery Marker
That is a GAR or perhaps Sons of Veterans marker for a camp from the state of Nebraska. The F, C and L are Faith, Charity and Loyality and of course the crossed guns and anchor are Army/Navy.....