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Annin Flagmakers
By Dale M. Coots

History of Annin Flagmakers

Annin Flagmakers

One Fall afternoon in the closing years of the nineteenth century Louis Annin Ames, the grandfather of C. Randolph Beard- Annin’s current Chairman of the Board, looked up from behind his large oak desk as an elderly, distinguished looking woman entered his office. One of the founding members of the Daughters of the Confederacy she was there to place an order for a Confederate Battle flag to honor the fallen Sons of the South who had lost their lives in the Civil War.

Always mindful of attention to detail, Mr. Ames inquired of the elegant lady; “What shade of red do you require for the flag?”

As she spoke she removed a diamond brooch from her dress. Without flinching, she stuck the pin end into her finger and as the blood came forth, said: “I want you to make the battle flag with the shade of red this exact color in remembrance of the blood that was shed by those who fought in defense of the Confederate nation.”

The elegant lady was the widow of Jefferson Davis, president of the Southern Confederacy.

This story was passed down through the years by the Annin family to demonstrate the sense of history that is so much a part of this, the oldest and largest flag manufacturing company in the United States. It also serves to remind each generation of the attention to detail that is so important to the flag-making craft that was begun earlier that century.

Annin FlagsAlexander Annin laid the foundations for Annin Flagmakers in 1820 when he began sewing flags and supplying them to merchant ships from his ship chandlery on the New York City waterfront. In 1847, when the American flags was scarcely 70 years old, Alexander’s sons Benjamin and Edward incorporated the firm and established Annin Flagmakers at 99 Fulton Street in lower Manhattan.


“Annin Flagmakers: An illustrated History.”

Annin Flags

Founded in 1847 and headquartered in Roseland, New Jersey, Annin is America’s oldest and largest flag manufacturer. They have created the first book-length history of this company.

To learn more about Annin Flagmakers, visit www.annin.com

From The Family:

Our great-grandfather, Louis Annin Ames, guided the company from 1896 until 1952. He took pride in leading the company that his grandfather and uncles had run since 1847. His grandchildren, Randy Beard, Lee Beard and Jack Dennis, ran Annin Flagmakers from the 1950’s until the early 2000’s. The company is now run by Carter Beard and Sandy Dennis Van Lieu.

Our flags have participated in world events such as:

  • The inauguration of ABRAHAM LINCOLN, as well as the flag that draped his casket
  • The opening ceremonies of the BROOKLYN BRIDGE in 1883
  • The arrival of Commander Robert E. Peary at the NORTH POLE in 1909 and Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd at the SOUTH POLE 21 years later
  • Raising the flag by U.S. Marines atop MT. SURIBACHI on Iwo Jima in 1945
  • When APOLLO 11 made its historic mission to the moon in 1969, its cargo included 186 Annin flags that Astronauts Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins would later distribute as mementos
  • America’s 1976 BICENTENNIAL celebration
  • The design and inception of the POW-MIA flag in 1979 in conjunction with the National League of Families of POW/MIA
  • The FIELD OF REMEMBRANCE at Battery Park, NY for the 10th
  • Anniversary of September 11th
  • Annin Flagmakers is an officially licensed manufacturer for the United States Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard. They feature the official designs of the Department of Defense Military organization and the official logo for the Army, Air Force and Naval Academy.

The Pledge of Allegiance

Thirty-one words which affirm the values and freedom that the American flag represents are recited while facing the flag as a pledge of Americans’ loyalty to their country. The Pledge of Allegiance was written for the 400th anniversary, in 1892, of the discovery of America. A national committee of educators and civic leaders planned a public-school celebration of Columbus Day to center around the flag. Included with the script for ceremonies that would culminate in raising of the flag was the pledge. So it was in October 1892 Columbus Day programs that school children across the country first recited the Pledge of Allegiance this way:

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

There were several minor changes through the years in language, making it the current Pledge of Allegiance better expressing the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

The Pledge of Allegiance now reads:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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