Recently, a customer brought me this flag that she found in the pocket of a WWII era Navy military coat.
The coat was in a box of miscellaneous clothing from an estate auction. Unfortunately the coat itself was not restorable because of moisture damage and mold rot. But inside the pocket of the coat was this little treasure. Initially I was reluctant to work on it because of its age. I was sure the stains were permanent, but the customer insisted that I at least try.
I took the flag home because I wanted to be able to work on it without interruption. I used a very diluted form of Hydrofluoric acid, ammonia bilfuoride (rustgo), and sodium perborate to remove the brown stains from the backside of the fabric. Once those stains were gone, I hand rinsed the entire flag with a neutral soap and then let it line dry overnight. The next morning I took it with me to the store and did one more hand wash and then used forced air to gently but quickly dry it to prevent leaving water stains.
The result was even better than I anticipated. After 75 years, it is ready to proudly hang again.
The customer was so pleased with the results. She plans on having it framed and giving it to the local VFW. I too am pleased with the results and even more pleased that I got to be a part of restoring this treasure.