The Annin flag company is the oldest and largest flag company in the United States. Founded by Alexander Annin in 1847 and incorporated on January 10, 1910, Annin Flagmakers experienced its first dramatic sales increase during the Civil War. From 1861 to 1895, they sold 1.5 million flags and emblems and were also commissioned by both the Union and Confederacy to make their flags.
According to Annin, flag sales dramatically change during major historical events.
Historically, the domestic political climate and world events have affected U.S. flag sales in a way that is unique compared with other products. While sales of American flags dipped during the depression years, they rose again during the patriotic fervor of World War II. The addition of the new states of Alaska in 1959 and Hawaii in 1960 generated a avalanche of orders from Americans who wanted to replace their outdated forty-eight star U.S. flags with the new fifty-star version. The anti-Viet Nam War sentiment during the turbulent period of the late sixties and early seventies made those years lean ones for U.S. flag sales but America’s Bicentennial in 1976 brought Old Glory back stronger than ever.
Annin Flagmakers have had their flags flown at many world events such as:
- Contracted to supply the flags for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations” in London. This event held in 1851 is considered by historians to be the first World’s Fair.
- President Lincoln’s inauguration as well as the flag that draped his casket after his assassination in 1865.
- Brooklyn Bridge opening ceremonies in 1883.
- Opening of Yankee Stadium on April 18, 1923.
- Commander Robert E. Pearly’s expedition to the North Pole on April 6, 1909.
- Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s Antarctic expedition in 1930.
- During World War II, a Annin flag was famously flown at the top of Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima.
- In the 1950s, a massive one flew atop the George Washington Bridge to honor WWII veterans.
- Two Apollo missions, including the 1969 mission to the moon.
- The 1976 American Bicentennial.
They have also supplied flags for the United Nations, the U.S. Olympic team and the International Space Station. Additionally, in 1979, Annin collaborated with the National League of Families of POW/MIA to design and produce the POW-MIA flag. To this day, the company is a family business with the 6th generation of the Annin family still working there.