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Transvaal flag pin (South Africa)
Flag pin of Portugal

World Flag Pins 1910 Pre WWI

These magnificent pins were a series of pinback buttons that were giveaways with packs of cigarettes from the American Tobacco Company. Each pictured a flag of a nation or city. From the content of the flags, I date these pins to 1910. Several feature flags from nations that no longer existed after WWI. Also features many colonial African nations. The Transvaal flag shown only flew from 1907 to 1910, and the Portugese flag first flew in 1910.

Most are celluloid pins with full color artwork of the flags (Persia and Hawaii are metal lithographed pins). The cigarette company placed a cardboard insert in the back of the pin to indicate the name of the tobacco brand being advertised, as well as a pin insert so that you could wear the pin on your lapel.

Many collectors of the time mounted the pins or kept them in collections where the pin was obtrusive, so they removed the pinback. You often find these tobacciana collectibles without pin inserts.

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We still have some flag pins available, priced at $6.99 to $14.99 each, based on condition. Click here for list.

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Flag pin of Victoria (Australia)
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Flag pin of the Congo State (Southern Africa 1910)
Flag pin for Naples, Italy
Related Reading:
bulletPrice Guide to Collectible Pin-Back Buttons: 1896 - 1986
by Ted Hake & Russ King
Paperback: 336 pages, 8-1/2 x 11"
bulletAmerican Tobacco Cards: A Price Guide and Checklist
Paperback: 472 pages, 8-1/2 x 11"
Publisher: Antique Trader

 

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