Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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33 STARS, MEDALLION CONFIGURATION, PRE-CIVIL WAR THROUGH WAR PERIOD, 1859-1861

33 STARS, MEDALLION CONFIGURATION, PRE-CIVIL WAR THROUGH WAR PERIOD, 1859-1861

Web ID: 33j-859
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): 15.75" x 12.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 9" x 5.75"
 
Description:
33 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton. The stars are arranged in a double wreath pattern with a large center star and 4 flanking corner stars. Note how the arms of the stars have an exaggerated length and thus bear a very interesting folk quality. This is one of my favorite early parade examples because of the great visual impact in its design.

Oregon entered the Union as the 33rd state on February 14th (Valentines Day), 1859. The 33 star flag was official from 1859-1861, and was thus still the official flag when Ft. Sumter was fired upon on April 12th of that year. This event marked the beginning of the Civil War, and a 33 star flag was flying at Ft. Sumter during the attack. Because the 34th state, Kansas, had already acquired statehood on January 29th, 1861, the 34 star flag was to become official on July 4th. For this reason, 33 star flags were not generally not produced for the war, which would last until 1865, and 33 star flags were generally made pre-war. It is for this reason that 33 star examples are far-and-away more scarce than their 34, 35, and 36-star counterparts.

Flags made prior to the Civil War are extremely rare, comprising less than one percent of 19th century flags that exist in the 21st century. Prior to the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in 1861, the Stars & Stripes was simply not used for most of the same purposes we employ it in today. Private individuals did not typically display the flag in their yards and on their porches. Parade flags didn't often fly from carriages and horses. Places of business rarely hung flags in their windows. The only consistent private use prior to 1861 seems to have accompanied political campaigning.

Even the military did not use the national flag in a manner that most people might think. Most people are surprised to learn that the infantry wasn't authorized to carry the Stars & Stripes until well into the 19th century. The foremost purpose before the Civil War (1861-65) was to identify ships on the open seas. While the flag was used to mark garrisons and government buildings, the flags of ground forces were limited to the those of their own regiment and a perhaps a federal standard (a blue or buff yellow flag bearing the arms of the United States). Artillery units were the first to be afforded the privilege in 1834. Infantry followed in 1841, but cavalry not until 1862. The first actual war in which the Stars & Stripes was officially carried was thus the Mexican War (1846-48).

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

The mount was placed in a black-painted American frame that dates to the period between 1830 and 1860 and retains exceptional, original surface. The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: There is moderate oxidation throughout. There is extremely minor pigment loss and there is a tiny vertical slit in the white area beyond the hoist, adjacent to the bottom. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Video:
   
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 33
Earliest Date of Origin: 1859
Latest Date of Origin: 1861
State/Affiliation: Oregon
War Association: 1777-1860 Pre-Civil War
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com


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