Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 14" x 12"
Flag Size (H x L): 7.5" x 4.5"
13 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton, with a wreath star design that incorporates three different sizes of stars in crude, whimsical shapes. I have found these flags with other Civil War era examples and production of this variety seems to have begun sometime within the 1861-1865 period. They may have been produced straight through until 1876, however, where they would have been used to celebrate our nation’s 100-year anniversary of independence.

While seemingly small in size, this is, in fact, a somewhat large example among 13 star parade flags of this period. It is also one of the most attractive examples from a folk art perspective.

13 star flags have been flown throughout our nation’s history for a variety of purposes. They were hoisted at patriotic events, including Lafayette’s visit in 1825-26, the celebration of the nation’s centennial in 1876, and the sesquicentennial in 1926. They were displayed during the Civil War, to reference past struggles for American liberty and victory over oppression, and were used by 19th century politicians while campaigning for the same reason. The U.S. Navy used the 13 star count on small boats until 1916, because it was easier to discern fewer stars at a distance on a small flag. Commercial flag-makers mirrored this practice and some private ships flew 13 star flags during the same period as the Navy. The use of yachting ensigns with a wreath of 13 stars surrounding a fouled anchor, which allowed pleasure boats to bypass customs between 1848 and 1980, persists today without an official purpose.

Mounting: The flag was mounted and framed in our own conservation department, which is led by masters degree trained staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples.

The antique, solid walnut molding has ebonized trim, retains its original gilded liner, and dates to the period between 1870 and 1890. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass. Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition: There is modest pigment loss, some misprinting, and minor to moderate soiling. Some of the soiling was professionally reduced and the edges of the canton along the lower and hoist ends were lightly re-glazed. There is minor fabric loss along the hoist end and there is minor fraying. There is a small hole in the last red stripe. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 13
Earliest Date of Origin: 1861
Latest Date of Origin: 1876
State/Affiliation: 13 Original Colonies
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD

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