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|Hip flasks are often made of silver or chromed metal, with a leather cover for decoration. Some come with small cups to make sharing easier, although generally liquid is drunk directly from the flask.|
The hip flask is popular as commemorative item, often being engraved. The Modern Drunkard Magazine describes the engraved flask as the best present one can give "and it better have something in it". The engravings may be short quotes, toasts or signs of friendship. The engraving may also be a date for a memorable occasion, such as a marriage.
Hip flask tucked into a garter belt during Prohibition. The hip flask began to appear in the form recognised today in the 18th century, initially used by members of the gentry. However, less compact versions had been in production for several centuries. Notably, in the middle ages, there are several accounts of gutted fruit being used to store liquor. Following the act of prohibition in 1920s America, the state of Indiana banned the sale of cocktail shakers and hip flasks.
Antique hip flasks, particularly those made of silver, are now sought-after collector's items. The hip flask appears frequently in comedy, in part because it allows drinking in inappropriate situations where a bottle would not be found.
In the Royal Air Force, "hip-flask" is used as code for a revolver.