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WWII Japanese Good Luck Flags

Easy to Spot

The Japanese flag is probably one of the most recognizable international flags, so it’s easy to spot. If you come across one that looks older and has Japanese writing on it, it may be a Yosegaki Hinomaru, or “Good Luck Flag.” Although Japanese Good Luck Flags go back to the late 1800s, WWII-era flags are more common. The Good Luck Flag pictured was part of one of our recent estate liquidation sales.

Carried Into Battle

The Good Luck Flag was a national flag presented to a Japanese soldier before he went to war. His name was written on it, and it was signed by family, friends, and members of his community, along with messages of support and good wishes. He carried it with him into battle, and these flags were sometimes taken as trophies from soldiers who had been killed. U.S. Servicemen often brought them home, so you may find a flag in your estate liquidation sale or at garage sales.

Preservation and Condition Affect Value

The resale value of a flag depends on the material (usually cotton or silk), its age, and its condition, so examine the piece carefully for any signs of damage or neglect before pricing it. Flags that have been properly handled, preserved, stored and/or displayed will be in better condition, and more valuable. These flags can be frequently found on eBay selling in the $100 – $200 range, so be sure to do your research.

Handle With Care

As with all heirloom textiles, Japanese Good Luck Flags should be handled with care and stored properly. The National WWII Museum has excellent guidelines for preserving and caring for historic artifacts here.

– Donna

Helpful Links:

OBON 2015 is a non-profit organization committed to helping return Good Luck Flags to the families of Japanese servicemen lost during WWII. If you want to return a flag to the family, OBON 2015 can be reached through their website.


This entry was posted in collectibles, estate liquidator, estate sale, sale items and tagged flags, historic,meatball flags, textiles, vintage, WWII, Yosegaki Hinomaru.

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