Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Antique Flags > American Flags


Web ID: ofm-904
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): 65" x 77.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 61" x 65" (plus fringe)
Pennsylvania state flag of especially excellent quality, made of fine silk and with the state arms hand-painted on the blue field. The fabric is rolled over and bound in such a way as to make an open sleeve along the hoist and fringed bullion tape was applied to bind the remaining three sides. In 1874 the Pennsylvania legislature decided that the great inconsistency across various artists' interpretations of the state seal and the state flag needed to be mended, and a commission was appointed to standardize the design. The primary difference in early forms lies in the color and posture of the horses. In 1875 the commission adopted a design that most closely conformed to Caleb Lownes' original 1776 engraving, with the horse black, "caparisoned for draught".

The seal on this Pennsylvania State flag, with its spotted grey horses, pre-dates the 1875 design. The construction is 2nd quarter 19th century, but is likely post-Civil War (post-1865) and bears some differences from the state banners carried by Pennsylvania Civil War Regiments.

Early state flags are extremely scarce. Pennsylvania is one of the few states for which they can sometimes be encountered. Most states simply did not adopt a flag until the first or second decade of the 20th century.

Mounting. The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton twill, laid over a coroplast support. It was then sandwiched against U.V. protective acrylic. The frame is a black and gold, painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding.

Condition: There is a 23" lateral tear in the top left corner. This has been supported with stitching and is further supported by the sandwich mount. There are also numerous smaller tears, but the overall condition is outstanding for a weighted silk flag of the 19th century.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: Other
Earliest Date of Origin: 1861
Latest Date of Origin: 1865
State/Affiliation: Pennsylvania
War Association:
Price: Please Call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281

Views: 7412