Oregon State College Mini-Pennants (pre-1961)

School pennants have come in all shapes and sizes over the years, including mini-pennants that range from just a few inches to around 12 inches long.  The really small pennants were probably given out as promotional items by the school or maybe came with something bought at the store.  The slightly bigger ones were probably bought at OSU’s bookstore, or at other stores around town.

Below are a few examples of small pennants from Oregon State University.  These are all from 1961 or earlier, when OSU was still known as Oregon State College.  The top three pennants are the smallest, with the first black one only being only about 3 inches long!

Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) Pennant & WWI Pins – c. 1918

This black felt O.A.C. pennant, with hand stitched orange felt letters, dates from c. 1918, at a time when America and Oregon Agricultural College (then OAC – now OSU) were in the last year of our country’s first great war, World War I.

Helping date this pennant, it came with five small pinbacks from WWI affixed to it.  The pins include a “Third Liberty Loan” pin, a Salvation Army War Service Fund pin, and three small Red Cross pins.

These pins were probably collected by a student at OAC during the War (1914-1918), when Oregon State University was a thriving training grounds for countless men and women who would go on to serve our country in one capacity or another.

During 1917, OAC was the center of military life for the entire state of Oregon. 66 faculty left to aid in the war effort. The US War Service called an additional 105 staff members to active service in 1918, and nearly 2,000 students, alumni, and faculty members were enlisted. In addition, more than 2,000 men were in training at OAC in the Students’ Army Training Corps and other military and naval training units.  Sadly, 51 OAC students, faculty, and alumni lost their lives during the War.  Below are two pictures of campus during 1918.  The first shows OAC’s President Kerr addressing the Student Army Training Corps, and the second shows Army students doing radio training. For the early part of OSU’s history every physically fit male was required to take the first two years of ROTC instruction.

Today, OSU Army ROTC continues the tradition of “The West Point of the West,” the nickname earned during World War II when the OSU Corps produced more officers than any other non-military academy in the nation.

The “Third Liberty Loan” pin refers to part of the larger effort by the U.S. government to sell war bonds (also known as Liberty Bonds) during WWI, to defray the expense of war. They were primarily sold by the boy and girl scouts, and the Third Liberty Loan Act was enacted in April of 1918, giving the best evidence of the age of this pin and pennant.

The Salvation Army War Service Fund was a fund raising effort to help provide assistance to the troops during the war. And the Red Cross, which started the war as a small organization, by war’s end had nearly one-third of the U.S. population who were either Red Cross donors or serving as a volunteer. In all, 20 million adults and 11 million youth claimed membership in the American Red Cross during the war and more than 8 million adults were volunteer workers.

Undoubtedly, many of these organizations were found on the campus of OSU during this time, and this pennant and accompanying pins provide a unique snapshot into a student’s life during that time in the school’s history… nearly 100 years ago!

3 salvation army pins 1 loberty loan and one salvation army war service fund

1918 OSU



1920’S-1930’S – Oregon State College “OSC” Felt Pennant

Similar to an earlier Oregon State College pennant I posted, this hand stitched black and orange felt pennant shows the unique overlapping OSC logo that was used by Oregon State I believe from the late 1920’s to early 1930’s.  This particular pennant seems to be an early one the “OSC” days because it’s a slightly larger size than most pennants, both in terms of width and length, which was more common earlier in the century.  Also, the calligraphy style of the overlapping letters was used prior to shifting to the more formal styling of the letters, like you see in the previous pennant I posted.  A very unique find, now I just need an oversized hard plastic sleeve that the pennant can fit in!

Speaking of protecting your pennants, I keep all of mine in the rigid clear hard plastic sleeves that can be purchases on ebay for around a couple dollars each.  This makes them easy to hang and should keep them clean and protected for years.  I highly recommend putting any vintage pennants you may have in this type of sleeve.

1920's-1930's Pennant

Another Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) Vintage Felt Pennant (c. 1898-1910)

Last year I posted a link to a vintage orange felt pennant with black OAC letters that dated to the early 1900’s.  Well, I came across a second full sized felt pennant that is very similar, including the font type on the hand cut and stitched black letters. The main difference is this pennant lacks the periods between the letters and the letters are slightly smaller overall.  The font on both these pennants can be traced to as early as 1907, where I have an OAC basketball team picture with the exact same font on the letters on jerseys. But by 1920, at the very latest, the OAC font had changed to more of the calligraphy type that you see on another OAC pennant I posted a while back. Also, in some of the pre-1900 pictures I have seen, the letter A looks the same as this pennant but the O was flat on top and not pointed, as it is here.  I’m sure a review of old yearbooks would probably help get the timeline straight!

OAC Pennant (2) Pennant

Early Oregon State Orange Felt Pennant with Stitched Letters

Similar to my previously posted vintage orange Oregon State Beavers felt pennant, this pennant looks very close and is also likely from the 1930’s-1940’s.  It has nearly the exact same font of the letters, but it differs from the prior orange pennant because it doesn’t have a black border. Sorry for the blurry picture!

Orange Felt OSC Pennant

1957 Oregon State Rose Bowl Pennant

This 1957 OSU Rose Bowl pennant is a slight variation from this earlier pennant I posted.  Besides being orange with black writing (the earlier version was black with orange writing), there are a couple other small differences.  First, the picture showing the beaver and the Oregon State text do appear to be the same on both pennants.  However, the picture and writing on the left side of the pennant, showing the roses and the stadium, are slightly different.  Notice the bottom the black pennant, below the stadium, has two roses, while this pennant shows three roses.  Both have one rose above the stadium, but the leaves are slightly different.  And the stadium is a little smaller in this orange version than in the black version.  Also, above the stadium, the “Rose Bowl” writing on the black pennant is in cursive, while on the orange version it’s traditional letters.  Lastly, the orange pennant also has four different colors printed on it while the black one just has two. I still believe these are both from the 1957 Rose Bowl game, but maybe they were just printed at different locations, or the orange one was a little more money!?

1965 RB 1957 Rose Bowl Pennant

Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) Vintage Felt Pennant (c. 1900-1910)

I recently came across another very old and rare Oregon State pennant, which is similar to an earlier one I posted a while ago.  This full sized pennant, with black OAC letters hand stitched onto the orange felt, is at the latest from1926, as Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) changed its name to Oregon State College by 1927. Given the style and condition of this pennant, it appears to be very early, and the styling of the lettering matches at least one picture I have seen back in 1900. By the 1920’s I believe the style of writing the OAC had changed a little bit to a different font.

OAC Pennant

1930’s Oregon State (OSC) Wool-Felt Pennant

This black pennant came from an estate of a woman who had attended OSU (Then Oregon State College) back in the 1930’s.  It is slightly smaller than a traditional full sized pennant and it has stitched orange letters on the black felt.

From 1927-1937 Oregon State was known as Oregon State Agricultural College, but I’ve never been clear if they went by OSC during those times, or OAC as it had been known as prior to 1927 (I bet referencing some old yearbooks would clear that up!).  I don’t think I have ever seen “OSAC” as an acronym used on any pennants or anything, so my best guess is after 1927, despite still having the Agricultural in the name, I think the school went by OSC, as referenced on this pennant.  This specific OSC logo design, with the letters overlapping, isn’t very common and I have only seen it on two different pennants.  And the fact it came from an estate of a student in the 1930’s makes it clear it was one of the early OSC logos once the school had changed names.

1930's Felt Pennant