On Sunday morning, a huge nine-by-17-foot United States flag will be hung at an Eastville home as part of one family’s Fourth of July tradition. The flag, which has 46 stars and is thought to be 100 years old, is known inside the Rowan family as the 1910 Battleship Flag.

A descendant of Abigail Luce Smith, Christine Smith Rowan lives year-round at 178 New York avenue with her husband Chris Rowan. They are originally from Connecticut.

The Rowans sat on their porch on a recent warm early summer day to tell the story of their flag, which is interwoven with the story of their 1869 house.

Ownership of the house is shared by three siblings, Christine and her sister Sarah Smith Eslick of North Carolina and brother Richard Kimball Smith of Texas. Their parents are Bradford K. and Betty Smith.

“We’ve been hanging the flag as long as I can remember,” Christine said, at least 40 years.

In a letter to the Vineyard Gazette, published in 1972, Christine’s father Bradford Smith told the story of the 46-star flag:

“The flag was given to my mother Abigail Luce Smith, by Mrs. Katherine Hoagland who was her house guest and companion for numerous summers,” he wrote. “Her husband had been a naval officer. In 1912 when Arizona and New Mexico were admitted to the Union, 46-star flags became obsolete and her husband acquired one which, as you say, is ‘still going strong.’”

Mr. Bradford also wrote in the letter that C.W.O. Hoagland entered the Yankee Navy in 1884 as an apprentice at the age of 17, moved up through the ranks and at the time of his retirement headed the Navy list of chief warrant officers. He served on many capital ships in the capacity of chief gunner and circumnavigated the globe with the famous Great White Fleet on the U.S.S. Virginia from 1907 to 1908.

“At the time 46-star flags became passé, he was serving on the monitor Tonopah. I wish I knew from which ship the flag came . . . The family calls it the battleship flag and well it might be,” Mr. Smith wrote.

Christine Rowan said the flag will hang through the day Sunday and be taken down early in the evening. The family treats the flag reverently, storing it in an old sea chest on the third floor of the house.

The mansard-roofed house also has a history worth mentioning. It was owned by Ichabod Norton Luce, a Vineyard seaman and boatbuilder from Edgartown. “He was a whaler who went to California during the gold rush and came back with $3,000. He used the money to build the house. While he came back with $3,000, everybody else came back with dysentery,” Mr. Rowan said.

Mr. Rowan said Mr. Luce participated in the establishment of Oak Bluffs, when it separated from Edgartown and became an independent town in 1880. He served as the town’s first moderator. He was a state senator for the Island district and from 1861 to 1864 served as a lighthouse keeper at Gay Head. He was an abolitionist, a friend of Frederick Douglass and lived until 1894, Mr. Rowan said.

A glass and metal nautical lantern hangs from the ceiling of the first floor entryway, said to have been acquired when the homeowner served as lighthouse keeper.