Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Antique Flags > American Flags


Web ID: 34j-992
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): 15.25" x 19.25"
Flag Size (H x L): 7.25" x 11.5"
34 star American national flag, hand-sewn and made entirely of silk. The stars of the flag, some of which have five points, yet others six, are embroidered in gold, silk floss. These are arranged in seven rows--an unusually large number--in counts of 4-6-4-5-6-4-5. Likely a unique distribution among know examples, this seems to be the byproduct of a seamstress simply sewing row after row until she had enough stars, adding one here and there as required to achieve the desired count.

The blue canton is made of ribbed, peau-de-soie silk, while the stripes were constructed of plain-weave silk. These have been joined by hand with tiny, expert seams. A fragmented border of tan silk, that appears to have pattern of tiny blue polka-dots, is affixed to the flag with treadle stitching. This provides evidences that the flag was formerly sewn into Civil War quilt, where it perhaps served as a centerpiece.

Complete, hand-sewn, Civil War flags of this nature are extremely rare and wonderful to encounter. This particular example is both stylistically and structurally similar to Bible flags, which were small, patriotic tokens of affection, sewn primarily in Confederate designs and gifted to departing soldiers in the South. By-in-large there were few Union counterparts to the Southern designs. Past the endearing folk art qualities present in these tiny, homemade flags, extreme scarcity is another reason why homemade Stars & Stripes such as this are so interesting to flag collectors.

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 through the opening two years of the war, until July 3rd, 1863, and 34 star flags would have generally been produced until the addition of West Virginia in June of that year.

The combination of the visual presentation, hand-sewn construction, homemade qualities, and a Civil War date, result in an wonderful example of the period.

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 substantial, black-painted molding retains exceptional early surface, dates to the late 18th century, and is thus earlier than the flag. The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass.

Condition: There is some breakdown in the silk fabric, including a nearly-closed vertical split down the middle, with minor loss, and a small hole in the center of the 4th red stripe with a split running toward the fly end. The most significant breakdown and loss occur in the 1st and 2nd red stripes, in the half of the flag towards the fly end. There is very minor breakdown in the 3rd red stripe. The fragmented line of fabric sewn around the perimeter with treadle stitching is what remains from the quilt it was formerly incorporated in. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: 34
Earliest Date of Origin: 1861
Latest Date of Origin: 1863
State/Affiliation: Kansas
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281

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