Before there were I Love NY T-shirts and Mount Rushmore refrigerator magnets, felt pennants were every American family’s favorite vacation memento. Purchased on road trips and tacked onto rumpus-room walls or stitched together into crazy quilts, these flags graphically showed off our continental conquests at a glance. They’re now the stuff of eBay, thrift stores, and flea markets—whole collections can be had for less than $25. But if you’re a magpie like I am, chances are you already have a few, and I say, keep ’em flying: hang them up in your kids’ rooms to inspire a love of geography and history—and a curiosity about what’s around the bend.
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