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  ROOSEVELT BATTLE FLAG KERCHIEF, MADE FOR THE 1912 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF TEDDY ROOSEVELT, WHEN HE RAN ON THE INDEPENDENT, PROGRESSIVE PARTY TICKET, SIGNED "D&C / NY" WITH "UNDERWOOD & UNDERWOOD" IMAGE COPYRIGHT

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 32" x 34.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 22.25" x 24.75"
Description....:
Printed cotton kerchief, made for the 1912 presidential campaign of Theodore Roosevelt when he ran on the Progressive Party ticket (the Bull Moose Campaign). This graphic textile relates not only one of the most beloved American figures, but to a rare political incident in which he lost the White House, not only for himself, but for his former Republican friends as well, by splitting Republican support between himself and incumbent President William Howard Taft.

The kerchief features a vertical, oval portrait of TR in the center, around which, in a narrow border, is text related to the portrait image. This reads “Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, NY. ” Above the oval window in the word "Progressive" and beneath is “Roosevelt / 1912 / Battle Flag”. All of this appears on a traditional western style design that consists of a geometric field of diamonds, surrounded by two lineal striped borders. This general style of red bandanna was a Roosevelt trade mark and could be regularly be seen tied about his neck in his many outdoor and military expeditions.

In the extreme lower left corner is the signature of the maker "D & C / NY." While the identity of "D & C" remains unknown, Underwood & Underwood was the world's largest publisher of stereo views. Founded in Kansas in 1881, it relocated in NY in 1887 then expanded elsewhere. The company became an early leader in News Bureau photography and dealt in other photographic images. This appears to have included woodcut or copperplate engravings such as Roosevelt's attractive portrait that appears on this bandanna.

A kerchief in this style is documented in “Threads of History”, by Herbert Ridgeway Collins, as item 935 on page 371 (Smithsonian Press, 1979). Collins served as curator of political history at the Smithsonian and his landmark text is considered the definitive reference on political flag and textile collecting.

A very similar example is also featured on page 371 as item 934. It is basically the same bandanna, except that the borders are different. In this case, they are simply lineal lines.

Mounting: The kerchief has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton, black in color. 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. The mount was then placed in a black-painted and hand-gilded Italian molding, to which a cove shaped molding with a very dark brown finish, almost black, with red highlights, was added as a liner. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic.

Condition: Excellent. This is a very strong example among its counterparts.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1912
Latest Date of Origin: 1912
State/Affiliation: New York
War Association:
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

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