Parading the Colors
In days gone by cigarette companies often packaged collectible cards with their smokes. Flags and coats of arms were a favorite subject for these cards and some of the best-known series were issued by the British company Players in the early twentieth century. The cards shown above were part of a set issued in 1905. Note that the US national flag has 45 stars; Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona had not yet been admitted to the Union. The US coat of arms is not accurately represented; minor errors of this kind were common. Even so, these collectible flag cards are a valuable reference for the vexiollogist.