See this post for more information about my Grandmother’s diary.
July 4, 1943 – Sunday
“Worked today. Had swell lunch at 6 p.m. We made coffee and one girl brought home-made cinnamon buns. Sure were good. Sewed #4 Ensigns nearly all day. Harley visited me at 8 p.m. First time he had been in Flag Loft. Found out it was first time he had seen a powered machine run. “
The flag loft on Mare Island employed 500 workers, 400 women doing their part by working 8 hours a day 6 days a week. The U.S. Navy numbers its flags 1 through 12, one being the largest and 12 the smallest. An ensign is the national flag flown on a vessel to indicate citizenry. The ensign is the largest flag, generally flown at the stern (rear) of the ship while in port.
Production facts for July 1943:
• 12,000 to 17,000 flags per week
• 800 to 900 National Ensigns
• 400 to 500 Union Jacks
• Signal flags
• Commissioning pennants, etc.