Here is a wonderfully patriotic American history map that was produced by the National Biscuit Company in 1959 as a cereal premium! It was made as an educational toy -- the complete set of 49 little state flags, each one lithographed in brilliant color on tin, surrounds a large, heavy paper map of the United States. Then-brand new 49th state, Alaska, enjoys individual focus with its flag and a map in the center panel.
This is entitled "Flags Of Our 49 States" and is fully complete with ALL of the little state flags, in bright and beautiful condition. It is authentic and absolutely all original.
Marketed as an American history learning tool as well as a fun collectible, Nabisco included one little flag in each box of its Shredded Wheat cereal for children to collect. The heavy paper map on which to hang their flags was available by mail-order request.
Nobody knows for certain how many complete sets exist. Following Alaska's admission to the Union on January 3, 1959, it was only SEVEN short months later, on August 21, that Hawaii was admitted as No. 50, making them obsolete. And there is no way to know how many children were able to obtain all 49 flags - that is a lot of cereal to eat!
Each flag is printed on the back with information about the state it represents (SEE OUR PICTURES). All the flags have little fold-over tabs at the top, with extensions at the bottom to fit into slots, to keep them in place on the paper map. On the bottom right corner of the paper is printed: Copyright by National Biscuit Co. / Made in U.S.A. The center map is marked: Copyright C. S. Hammond & Co.
SIZE: Outside dimensions of the big map are 16 inches tall by 20 inches wide. It was originally folded into four panels. The central map is approximately 12 inches across. Each little flag fits into a 2-inch box.
CONDITION: Excellent, a very nice display that deserves to be framed. The tin flags are brilliant and accurate. There is no damage to the tin pieces other than a very few light surface scuffs that are nearly impossible to find - NO rust, NO broken tabs, NO bends! The printing on the paper background is sharp and clear. The map is bright and colorful with NO fading. The folds themselves (the way it was made) have become a little more noticeable from age. The only truly noticeable damage is splits at the edge in the folds of the paper. The one at the very top is the worst (SEE OUR PICTURE MARKED with a pink * Asterisk). The paper is age darkening slightly. There are a very few stray marks on the paper but NO handwriting or stains. On the back you can see that half of the paper has darkened more than the other, from light exposure.
This is a hard to find collectible, and it is wonderfully educational. This belonged to either me or my sister and is being offered for the first time ever for sale. We only recently unpacked it from among the items in our mother's estate.
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