Vintage Microphone Flags & Call Letter Plates
Information on the development & styles of vintage call letter plates (microphone flag). Do you have one in your collection? Email us a picture to add to our gallery.

So What Are Microphone Flags & Call Letter Plates Worth?

I frequently get asked about the value of microphone flags. Over the course of the last 5 years, auction prices have gradually increased. 2018 selling prices range from $175 to $500. A number of factors that determine microphone value are:

  • Market Size – Generally, flags from top 25 market stations have a higher value than flags used at small market, low powered or rural stations.

  • Station History – Was the flag used at a pioneer, heritage station? Was the station part of network (NBC, CBS, Mutual, ABC, Don Lee, etc.)? Was the station known for a particular broadcast personality?

  • Photographic Evidence – Is there an archival image of a similar flag in use? This helps to determine the flag’s provenance and age.

  • Type of Microphone Used – It has been noticed that flags for larger studio microphones like RCA 77s, 44s and Western Electric 638Bs command a slightly higher value.

  • Flags With Side Plates – Usually a three-pieced set with side plates are more desirable to collectors. 

  • Mic Flag & Microphone Matched – If sold with a microphone, did the flag and mic come from the same station?

  • Authentic Survivor or Reproduction – In the 1990s, a large number of reproduction flags representing broadcast networks (Voice Of America, NBC, CBS, etc.) and large heritage stations (KDKA, WNBC, etc.) were cast. These are generally of high quality and look great on display but have not increased in value from their original retail selling prices.        

I’d be happy to assist you in determining a fair market value for your flag. Email me at


Below are the vintage radio station flags that I am willing to consider trades. Mics and flags are also available for television, film and theatrical rentals.

KDAL - Duluth, Minnesota (fits a RCA 74B)

KLZ - Denver, Colorado (made for a Western Electric 618A)

KSD - St. Louis, Missouri (fits a RCA 44)

KSTP - Minneapolis/St. Paul (fits a RCA 88-A)

KYW - Cleveland, Ohio (made for a RCA 44)

WEVD - New York City (made for a Western Electric 633A or Electro Voice 635)

WGN - Chicago, Illinois - (made for a Western Electric 618A; fitted on a Shure 55)

WDAD - Indiana, PA (fits a RCA 74B)

WGWC - Selma, Alabama (made for a Western Electric 633A; fitted on a AMC VR-2T)

WHER - Memphis, Tennessee (fits a RCA 77)

WIBU - Poynette, Wisconsin (fits a RCA 44)

WJW - Cleveland, Ohio (fits a Western Electric 633A)

WLAC - Nashville, Tennessee (fits a Western Electric 633A)

WNEW - New York City, NY (made for an RCA 50-A)

WNYC - New York City, NY (made for a Western Electric 630A)

WOL - Washington, DC (Fits a Western Electric 618A or RCA 50-A)

WSLI - Jackson, Mississippi (fits a Shure 55)

Email me at if interested. 

Collection of vintage radio station microphones from RCA, Western Electric, Electro Voice and Shure WSLI WGN WLAC WJW WOL WEVD KSTP
Collection of vintage radio station microphones from RCA, Western Electric, Electro Voice and Shure
WNEW Radio New York City Vintage Microphone Flag
The legendary WNEW New York City 1130AM. Flag made for an RCA 50-A
WJW Radio Cleveland Ohio Alan Freed
WJW Radio, Cleveland, Ohio - flag on a Western Electric 633A. Broadcasting pioneer Alan Freed used this style of microphone during early remote rock & roll broadcasts and concerts
WJW's Alan Freed uses a Western Electric 633a microphone during an early rock & roll concert in Cleveland. The WE mic can be seen in the center.
WJW Cleveland, Ohio - Legendary radio station known for one its pioneer disc jockeys Alan Freed.
WJW Cleveland, Ohio - Legendary radio station known for its pioneer disc jockey Alan Freed. WJW was early to adopt rock & roll as a commercial radio format.
WLAC Nashville Tennessee Radio Western Electric Microphone 633
WLAC Radio, Nashville, TN - Microphone is a Western Electric 633
WJW Cleveland Ohio Broadcasting Radio Alan Freed Rock and Roll
WEVD Radio, New York City, NY - One of the most important Yiddish radio stations in the history of American broadcasting

ABOUT WEVD: This legendary New York City station was founded in August 1927 by the Socialist Party of America, its call letters stood for Eugene Victor Debs who was a beloved party leader. In 1932, the station was purchased by the Yiddish-language daily newspaper “The Jewish Daily Forward.” The station was known for its jazz programming with the likes of Sidney “Symphony Sid” Torin behind the microphone. WEVD also featured sports talk pioneer Bill Mazer.

Electro Voice 635 mic
WEVD Radio, New York City, NY - Flag is mounted on an Electro Voice 635 mic
WOL Washington, DC - Flag fits a RCA 50-A
WOL Meet the Press
Similar microphone flag use on the original radio version of Meet the Press. The program first aired as The American Mercury Presents Meet the Press, a 1945 program over the Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS). The show presented as a promotional showcase for Lawrence E. Spivak's magazine, The American Mercury. Image from a Life magazine article from March 13 1948. Caption reads ''Martha Taft (center) gasps at sharp question as Washington newsmen, Adams, Childs, and Spivak laugh. Martha Rountree (right) runs program.''
WHER Radio
RCA 77 Microphone Flag, WHER, Memphis, TN

ABOUT WHER: Documented as the first "All-Girl" radio station when it went on the air in October 1955. Staffed almost exclusively by women (including broadcasting pioneer Vida Jane Butler), the station spawned a series of imitators, but later evolved into a mixed-gender staff rechristened WWEE. The radio station was the brainchild of Sam Phillips, who used a portion of the $35,000 he made from the sale of Elvis Presley's recording contract to RCA Records to finance the station. A portion of the balance of the funding came from Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson, who also provided the station's first home, in a part of the third Holiday Inn ever built. Sam Phillips CMT Sun Records

Sun Records CMT series television
Rebecca “Becky” Burns Phillips, wife of Sun Records & WHER owner Sam Phillips in front of WHER microphone with featured flag. Phillips is currently the subject of the new Sun Records series on CMT television.
WSLI, Jackson
WSLI, Jackson, MS (Mississippi)

ABOUT WSLI - WSLI became Jackson, Mississippi’s second radio station when it went on the air in September of 1938. It was owned by the Standard Life Insurance Company and the call letters “WSLI” represented the name of the licensee. It signed on from studios located in the Robert E. Lee Hotel. The transmitter was located on High Street, near the Pearl River. WSLI was affiliated with NBC’s Blue Network. L.M. Sepaugh was named the first Manager. WSLI had the distinction of employing Mississippi’s first women announcers, Miss Nancy Chambers and Miss Virginia Metz.

The station was originally located at 1450am; moved to 930am. Call letters changed sometime around 2006. Currently known as WSFZ, “SuperSport 930.” As some point, the station was sold to Mississippi College. In 1998 Russ Robinson secured a deal to buy the station and moved WSLI off campus. Finding office space in Clinton, Robinson said a large majority of the equipment was obsolete and the station pretty much started from scratch. 

One of the station’s longtime broadcasters was James Huston Neal, affectionately known as "Farmer Jim.”  Neal joined WSLI in 1947 and was given the job of reading the early morning farm reports. As his popularity increased, the station gave Neal the nickname "Farmer Jim," claiming he woke up with the chickens each morning. Farmer Jim's formula was successful by including a little down home humor, a little news, a little music, ad-libbed commercials and an imaginary sidekick named “Feist Dog.” Neal’s had the top rated radio program in Jackson for over 40 years until his retirement in 1997. He passed away in 2006.

Other Facts:Hank Williams performed live on the Farm Jim Show on 2/21/50. WSLI Bob Rall was credited for founding one of the first “talk shows” in Jackson. 1953, WSLI-TV Ch. 12 signed on by Jackson Daily News as a CBS affiliate. WSLI-TV merged with WJTV-TV in 1955 after purchase by the Hederman family, owners of The Clarion-Ledger, bought the Daily News

Vintage WGN Radio Microphone, Chicago
A rare piece of Chicago, Illinois broadcasting history. WGN Radio microphone flag. The vintage mic is a Western Electric 618a

ABOUT WGN: One of America’s great radio stations. The WGN call letters refer to the Chicago Tribune meaning "World's Greatest Newspaper."  Signed on the air in 1924. WGN serves as the flagship radio outlet for Chicago Blackhawks hockey and is best known for its long association with the Chicago Cubs from 1925 to 2014--the last 56 years of that period as the exclusive flagship station. Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray, just two of the Hall of Fame broadcasters heard on WGN.

A mic flag like ours used on WGN-TV in 1948. The finals of the Golden Gloves was the first scheduled televised show on WGN-TV with Jack Brickhouse, center at table, as the first voice at the Chicago Stadium on March 5, 1948
WGN's Jack Brickhouse in front of WGN Microphone flag used on a Western Electric microphone
WGN microphone flag in use on a WE 618A. Spencer Allen, seen here in 1953, was the first news director for WGN-TV when they started in 1948. Allen had been a WGN Radio news reporter and writer since 1938.
Vintage KLZ microphone flag
Mel Torme (2nd from right) singing with a quartette in front of a WE 618A microphone with KLZ flag
KLZ Radio Denver Colorado History Vintage Antique
Vintage microphone and flag from KLZ Radio, Denver, Colorado - The city's first radio station, signed on in 1922. The microphone is a Western Electric 618A. The microphone flag was made by Hugh Lyons & Company of Lansing, Michigan
ABOUT KLZ: A mile high pioneer, KLZ-AM signed on in 1922 as Denver’s first commercial radio station. KLZ was first licensed as a broadcasting station on March 10, 1922 to the Reynolds Radio Company. However, the company's president, Dr. William D. "Doc" Reynolds, Jr., had been making experimental broadcasts since 1920, and the station traditionally traced its founding to that year. The call letters originally belonged to a ship named the “Speedwell” which was lost at sea on September 29, 1920. Superstition precluded call signs of ships being assigned to other ships, so they became available for land based stations. Reynolds was randomly assigned KLZ.
WGWC Radio, Selma, AL - From station letterhead, 1946
WGWC Radio, Selma, AL - From station letterhead, 1946
WGWC Selma, AL
Microphone flag from WGWC, Selma, Alabama

ABOUT WGWC: (1946-1968) Selma, AL. Signed on regular broadcast operations on December 19, 1946, as a full-time 250 watt station licensed to serve Selma, Alabama. Original owner G.W. Covington Jr. had the station assigned the call letters WGWC after his own initials. Covington died in 1949 and his estate transferred the license for WGWC to Dallas Broadcasters Inc., owned by Oscar Covington.

Judge W.E. Farrar acquired Dallas Broadcasters Inc. on October 10, 1958. This ownership change would prove short-lived as on August 1, 1961, WGWC was acquired by Robert J. Martin. In 1964 the station increased the strength of its daytime signal to 1,000 watts while maintaining a 250 watt nighttime signal. The station took on a new call sign in 1968 with a change to WAMA.

WDAD Microphone Radio Indiana, PA
Vintage WDAD Radio, Indiana, PA
WNYC Eight Ball 8-ball Western Electric 630a 630-a
WNYC Western Electric “8 Ball” Model 630-A

ABOUT WNEW: Founded by Milton H. Biow and Arde Bulova in 1934. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed on the station during a ceremony on February 13th. WNEW is considered by many as one of the most influential stations of the 20th century. It was at WNEW that personality Martin Block began his Make Believe Ballroom program in 1935. Frank Sinatra began his professional singing career in the late 30s on WNEW’s Dance Parade, a show that originated from the Rustic Cabin in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. During the 40s & 50s, a parade of legendary broadcasters made their way to 1130am that included Jack Lescoulie, Gene Rayburn, Gene Klavan, Dee Finch, William B. Williams, Dennis James, Ted Brown, Art Ford, Jerry Marshall and Al “Jazzbo” Collins. The sound of WNEW was the epitome of “effortless coolness. 

WNEW Radio Metromedia 1130am New York City
WNEW-AM Radio, New York City, NY. Flag made by the Hugh Lyons Co.
ABOUT WJW: Signed on the air from Mansfield, Ohio on November 12, 1926 under the ownership of John Weimer, the "JW" in the call letters. WJW moved to Akron in 1932 and made a final move to Cleveland in 1943. Soupy Sales, known as Soupy Hines, worked at the station in the 50s. In 1951, Alan Freed joined WJW and began making music and radio history by playing and promoting rhythm & blues music performed by black artists and began using the term "rock & roll." While at WJW, Freed organized some of the first rock and roll concerts in history. Freed left WJW in 1954 for WINS, New York City, but he established WJW as a premier rock and roll outlet. WJW was also home to Pete "Mad Daddy" Myers and a young Casey Kasem. The call letters WJW were dropped by radio in 1985 but survive in use by television station. 
April 7, 1952, Broadcasting Magazine - Ad for WJW Radio Cleveland featuring Alan Freed. Freed is seen using a Western Electric 633 mic
April 7, 1952, Broadcasting Magazine - Ad for WJW Radio Cleveland featuring Alan Freed. Freed is seen using a Western Electric 633a microphone.
ABOUT WLAC: Signed on November 24, 1926 by the Life and Casualty Insurance Company of Nashville, Tennessee with call letter that reflected its ownership. In 1942, the station increased its power to 50,000 watts reaching parts of 28 states and three Canadian provinces. Although its daytime programing featured a full service of network shows, local news, farm reports, and “middle of the road” music, it was its nighttime programing that created an American broadcasting legend. Beginning in the 1950s and continuing through the 70s, WLAC was home to a legendary group of rhythm and blues broadcasters that included Bill "Hossman" Allen, Gene Nobles, John “R” Richbourg and Herman Grizzard. The station’s clear channel status brought “race music” to African-American and young white listeners and influenced a generation of musicians.  For example, Duane & Greg Allman credited WLAC as being a source of inspiration for their artistic development. The station was a pioneer in the promotion of the careers of James Brown, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Little Richard among others.
WLAC Radio History Vintage
WLAC Radio, Nashville, TN Music City, USA
ABOUT WOL: Originally known as WRHF when it first went on the air on December 22, 1924. The station changed call letters to WOL on November 11, 1928. In 1936, WOL joined the Mutual Broadcasting System and became a critical component supplying the network with public affairs programing from the nation’s Capital. WOL microphones were part of Mutual’s broadcasting of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats. On January 26, 1950, the F.C.C. approved a call letter swap with WWDC. The change took place February 20, 1950. The new WOL was Washington's top rated rhythm and blues music station through the 1960s and 1970s.
WOL Washington DC, FDR Fireside Chat Microphone 50-A RCA
WOL Radio, Washington, DC, RCA 50-A Microphone. WOL provided FDR's Fireside Chat feed to the Mutual Network
WOL Washington DC
Eleanor Roosevelt at Washington, D.C. Radio station WOL presenting a "My People" program devoted to African Americans. A RCA 50A microphone featuring our WOL flag can be seen being used in this image taken on February 13, 1943.

ABOUT KSTP: The flagship AM radio station of Hubbard Broadcasting, which also owns several other television and radio stations across the United States. KSTP's AM signal at 1500 kHz is the product of a 1928 merger between two other Twin Cities stations. WAMD ("Where All Minneapolis Dances") and KFOY had each started broadcasting a few years earlier. Stanley E. Hubbard's WAMD went on the air for the first time on February 13, 1925, originally broadcasting live dance music from a local ballroom. It is claimed that this was the first radio station to be completely supported by running paid advertisements. One of the popular broadcasts on the station was the KSTP Sunset Valley Barn Dance.

KSTP St. Paul Minneapolis, MN Microphone RCA
KSTP St. Paul Minneapolis, MN flag on an RCA 88a microphone
KSTP 88a RCA microphone in use with boxer Joe Lewis.
WIBU, Poynette, Wisconsin

ABOUT WIBU - WIBU, Poynette, Wisconsin. Founded in 1925 by William C. Forrest who is regarded as an early pioneer of Wisconsin broadcasting. The randomly assigned call letters of WIBU were quickly adopted to mean “Wind Is Being Used” or “Wind Is Behind Us” as Forrest utilized windmills to generated electricity for the station. The station’s studios were housed in a streamlined art-modern style building located on N2349 WIBU Road in Poynette. In the spring of 1988 WIBU gained national notoriety in national media as it adopted an all polka format. The polka format lasted until 1991. In 1999 the format changed to “Music of Your Life.” WIBU was sold in 2001 and changed to a religious format. WIBU’s frequency, 1240am, is currently being used by WHFA that broadcasts a Catholic religious format. Veteran Wisconsin Public Radio announcer Jim Packard, announcer of “Whad’Ya Know” was among WIBU alums.

Image from the August 1940 issue of Radio News. Flag was manufactured by the Glenn H. Walker Mfg. Co., Norwood, Ohio
Early 1940s, WIBU with RCA 44 using mic flag
WGN flag being used on a RCA 44. Singer and actress Lena Horne in 1950, with WGN radio's Fred Reynolds.
WGN announcer Jack Brickhouse, reports from a boat with Fire Chief Anthony J. Mullaney.
KLZ Denver
Featured vintage KLZ microphone flag on a Western Electric 618A
KSD Radio, St. Louis, Missouri
Pioneer broadcaster KSD Radio, St. Louis, Missouri
KSD Radio, St. Louis, MO microphone flag
KSD Radio, St. Louis, MO microphone flag for an RCA 44
A KSD flag like the one in our collection seen in this image from the St. Louis Media Archives

ABOUT KSD St. Louis Missouri: Launched by the Pulitzer Publishing Co, owners of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper on March 11, 1922. The station broadcast from 550 kHz for all about one year of its existence. The Post-Dispatch owned KSD radio until 1977. In 1984, the station lost its historic call letters but gained them back in 1993. The frequency currently hosts a news talk format under the call letters KTRS.

KYW: Group W’s (Westinghouse Broadcasting's) famous set of “traveling call letters”. KYW was founded in Chicago in 1922, calls moved to Philadelphia in 1934, transferred to Cleveland in 1956. Returned to Philly in 1965 where the calls currently reside.
KYW: Group W’s (Westinghouse Broadcasting's) famous set of “traveling call letters”. KYW was founded in Chicago in 1922, calls moved to Philadelphia in 1934, transferred to Cleveland in 1956. Returned to Philly in 1965 where the calls currently reside.
Westinghouse Broadcasting, KYW, Cleveland Chicago Philadelphia
Westinghouse Broadcasting's KYW, Cleveland, Ohio. Call letters were also used by Group W in Chicago & Philadelphia
KYW Radio, Cleveland, Ohio - Westinghouse Broadcasting Group W
KYW Radio, Cleveland, Ohio - Westinghouse Broadcasting Group W
ABOUT WNYC signed on air July 8, 1924. Owned by City of New York, the station became one of the first municipality owned broadcasting stations in the United States. This “public” frequency was one of the stations that formed National Public Radio in 1971. The 630a first appeared in Western Electric ads & catalogs in 1935 and can be seen being used in archive photos until the late 40s.
WGWC Radio studios building located on North Board Street in Selma, AL. . Date of photo unknown.
NOTE: I am a collector of Buffalo, New York radio and television artifacts. I am most interested in trading for stations such as WGR, WBEN, WEBR, WBNY, WHDL, WJJL, WKBW, etc. Please contact me at if interested in trading.
Name Plate/Microphone Flag Manufacturers
NOTE: Research ongoing. Two manufacturers supplied the majority of call letter plates/flags to radio station.

Hugh Lyons & Company, Lansing, Michigan - More to come

Glenn H. Walker Manufacturing Company, Norwood, Ohio - "Since 1935, Name Plates Our Business, Not A Sideline." 
Sales sheet from Hugh Lyon & Co., Lansing, Michigan
1947 Sales sheet from Hugh Lyon & Co., Lansing, Michigan
Sales Sheet from the Glenn H. Walker Mfg. Co., Norwood, Ohio
Mic flag/plate sales sheet from the Glenn H. Walker Mfg. Co., Norwood, Ohio
1940's era ad for Hugh Lyons Co, Lansing, MI
1940's era ad for Hugh Lyons Co, Lansing, MI. The company was one of the primary producers of microphone call letter plates/flags.
Gallery of Microphone Flags
For research purposes. Looking for information on the history, fonts used & the production of mic flags from the 30s-60s. Images of flags from private collections, historic photographs or that have been for sale/auction.
NOTE: Most of these flags are NOT in my collection and I have no information about ownership or location. Email me if you have information ab
out microphone flags -
RCA 77 "Tulip" or "Fan" style Microphone Flag
The most common style of microphone flag used on a RCA 77. Produced by Glenn H Walker. Special length screws were furnished to attaching plate to exciting holes on side of mike
Hugh Lyons Company flag/plates
RCA 74 Microphone Flag
Shure 55 Microphone Flag with side plates
Most samples found feature call letters cast on flag. Shure Brothers catalogs feature a model number A72A that states that "lettering can be easily applied by user."
From a 1942 Shure catalog - Model A72A - Call Letter Plate
Western Electric "Birdcage" Microphone Flag with side plates
RCA 44 Microphone Flag
2 styles of microphone flags are commonly found for the RCA 44.
Hugh Lyons Company Flag/Plates for RCA 44s
WIBU Microphone with flag as published in the August 1940 issue of Radio News. The flag was manufactured by the Glen H. Walker Mfg. Co., Norwood, Ohio
Western Electric 618A Microphone Flag
Designed to fit an WE 618A. Produced by Hugh Lyons & Co. of Lansing, Michigan.  
RCA 88 Microphone Flag
A number of different styles have been documented for use on an RCA 88. CBS, WPTR and KSTP plates below were manufactured by Hugh Lyons & Co. of Lansing, Michigan. The WHAT flag was a product of Glenn H. Walker Mgr. Co of Norwood, Ohio.  
RCA 50-A Inductor Microphone Flag
Vintage RCA 50a 50-A Microphone WOL Radio
An RCA 50-A Microphone from WOL, Washington D.C
RCA Type 50-A Inductor Microphone WOL Radio
RCA Type 50-A Inductor Microphone WOL Radio Washington DC
RCA Type 50-A Inductor Microphone
RCA Type 50-A Inductor Microphone WOL Radio Washington DC