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  38 STARS IN A MEDALLION CONFIGURATION WITH 2 OUTLIERS, COLORADO STATEHOOD, 1876-1889, A WELL-WORN EXAMPLE WITH BOLD COLORATION

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 27" x 20"
Flag Size (H x L): 18.25" x 11.5"
Description....:
38 star American parade flag, block-printed by hand on coarse, glazed cotton. The stars are arranged in a triple-wreath form of the medallion configuration, with a single center star and two stars flanking outside the basic pattern toward the fly end. Typically there are 4 flanking stars outside this type of pattern, one in each corner. The inclusion of only two was done intentionally to leave room for the easy addition of two more states. Flag-makers felt that more Western Territories were soon to be added to the Union and eagerly anticipated their arrival.

Note how the indigo blue canton contrasts pleasantly with chrome orange stripes. Many cotton parade flags produced between 1850 and 1876 have shades of red that lean strongly toward this color.

Colorado became the 38th state on August 1st, 1876. This was the year of our nation’s 100-year anniversary of independence. Per the Third Flag Act of 1818, stars were not officially added until the 4th of July following a state's addition. For this reason, 37 was the official star count for the American flag in 1876. Flag-making was a competitive venture, however, and few flag-makers would have been continuing to produce 37 star flags when their competitors were making 38’s. It is for this reason that 38 and 13 stars (to represent the original 13 colonies) are more often seen at the Centennial International Exposition, the six-month long World’s Fair held in Philadelphia in honor of the event. Some flag-makers would have been adding a star for the 38th state even before it entered the Union, in the early part of 1876 or even prior. In fact, many makers of parade flags were actually producing 39 star flags, in hopeful anticipation of the addition of two more Western Territories instead of one. But the 39th state would not join the Union for another 13 years, when the Dakota Territory entered as two states on the same day. The 38 star flag became official on July 4th, 1877 and was generally used until the addition of the Dakotas in 1889.

Mounting: The solid walnut molding dates to the period between 1860 and 1870. The flag has been placed in its correct vertical position with its canton in the upper left. This is a pressure mount between 100% cotton twill, black in color, and U.V. protective acrylic. The black fabric was washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose.

Condition: There is moderate to significant fabric loss, accompanied by minor to moderate foxing and staining throughout, but the flag presents beautifully because of it. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 38
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1889
State/Affiliation: Colorado
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

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