Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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  34 STARS, WITH SCATTERED POSITIONING, ON AN ANTIQUE AMERICAN PARADE FLAG MADE DURING THE OPENING TWO YEARS OF THE CIVIL WAR, 1861-63, KANSAS STATEHOOD

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 11.25" x 7.75"
Flag Size (H x L): 19.25" x 15.25"
Description....:
34 star American national flag, printed on glazed cotton. Kansas was admitted into the Union as the 34th state on January 29th, 1861, about 2 ½ months before the Confederate assault on Fort Sumter that marked the beginning of the Civil War. The 34th star was officially added on July 4th of that year, but most flag makers would have added a 34th star with the addition of Kansas in January. The star count remained official until July 4th, 1863, and 34 star flags would have generally been produced until the addition of West Virginia in June of that year.

34 star parade flags are scarce. Prior to the Civil War, Americans did not employ the flag in many of the ways we do today. Before that time private citizens generally did not fly flags off their porches or wave hand-held examples like this one at parades and rallies. Flags were primarily a tool of the military--particularly the U.S. Navy. It wasn't until Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter that a surge of patriotism caused a great increase in the making and consumption of the Stars & Stripes by the general public. It was then that flag-makers began to produce them in quantity for the first time. This flag would have been among some of the first made for that purpose.

Note the square shape of the soldier blue canton and how it contrasts with the burnt orange hue of the red stripes. The stars are arranged in justified lineal rows of 5-6-6-6-6-5. Note how the stars point in various directions on their vertical axis, which adds a nice degree of folk quality to the presentation. Upon close inspection, there is actually some order to what seems at first to be chaos. When viewed horizontally, one will note that the top row and the bottom row are mirror images of one-another except for the star in the center, which is flipped vertically. The stars in the outermost column, along the hoist end, all point upward, while those along the fly end, all point downward. If the top and bottom rows are excluded, one will also note that the remaining stars are what I call "dancing" or "tumbling," alternating point-up, point-down, throughout each of the 4 center rows.

All-in-all, a wonderful example of the period with especially attractive colors and nice graphics.

Mounting: The mahogany veneered, American Empire frame dates to the period between 1830 and the 1850's. The flag has been placed in its correct vertical position, with its canton in the upper left. It has been hand-stitched to a background of 100% cotton twill, black in color. The cotton 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. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: There is minor foxing and staining throughout, accompanied by more significant oxidation along the hoist end, where the flag was affixed to its original wooden staff. 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: 34
Earliest Date of Origin: 1861
Latest Date of Origin: 1863
State/Affiliation: Kansas
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD
 

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