Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags



  SILK RIBBON, OF GENEROUS SCALE, WITH ELABORATE PATRIOTIC IMAGES AND A PORTRAIT OF ULYSSES S. GRANT, MADE EITHER FOR ONE OF HIS TWO PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS (1868 & 1872), OR TO HONOR HIM AT THE 1876 CENTENNIAL INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION IN PHILADELPHIA

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 12.25" x 8"
Flag Size (H x L): 7.5" x 3"
Description....:
Silk ribbon with generous scale, printed in black ink, with a series of patriotic images and featuring a portrait of Ulysses S. Grant in the third of four registers. The first of these illustrates the Pennsylvania State Seal in an elaborate, artistic fashion, beneath which is the word "Peace." This is followed by an American eagle with wings lifted and a billowing streamer in its beak, with text that reads: "His Country's Friend in the Hour of Danger."

Grant's image, in military garb, is set within an oval medallion, flanked by American flags, a sextant, a drum, and other objects. Typically what will be featured in a military portrait of this nature are the tools of war, including guns, spears, swords, and cannon. While a cannon barrel can be seen to the right, the lack of emphasis on weapons seem to be intentional. Above the image are the words: "U.S. Grant. Pride of America." and below is a familiar 1868 Grant campaign slogan, the "People's Choice."

The last image shows Lady Columbia with an oval shield, seated on a rocky point with a tall ship in the background. Surrounding her are more words to describe Grant as "Protector of American Liberty."

A copy of this ribbon is among the holdings of the Smithsonian, donated by major collector of political textiles, Ralph E. Becker. The Smithsonian attributes the origin to Grant's successful 1868 campaign for the White House, probably due to the slogan. This is, in fact, one of three possibilities. The Seal of the State of Pennsylvania certainly designates use in that state. In 1868 that would most likely mean distribution by the Union League of Philadelphia. Founded to get Lincoln re-elected, as well as to serve Union and Republican interests, Union Leagues across the country campaigned for Grant, who was a member of the Philadelphia club. The Union League may have once again been the source in 1872, when the Republican National Convention was actually held in Philadelphia, with all of the related festivities thereof. While it seems that it might be more likely to illustrate Grant as already having been president, or to use a different slogan, it's hard to deny that the images and verbiage are all relatively generic and patriotic, very good at any time to represent the president and general, as former head of the Union Army that won the war, especially to an audience of Union Civil War veterans. Possibly the ribbons were sold and/or gifted to potential voters in both years.

Yet another possibility is that the design was produced in order that it may be sold at the 1876 Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia. This was our nation's first World's Fair and for a duration of six months, served as the nucleus of the celebration of the one-hundred-year anniversary of American independence. The event occurred during Grant's second presidential term, he attended the Expo, and all manner of patriotic souvenirs were sold by merchants.

Whatever the case may be, the ribbon is a wonderful tribute to the two-time president who Abraham Lincoln charged with the military leadership that resulted in Union victory.

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 paint-decorated and gilded molding is American, dates to the period between 1840 and 1870, and has exceptional, early surface. The background is 100% hemp fabric. Spacers keep the textile away from the glass, which is U.V. protective.

Condition: Overall excellent. There is extremely minor oxidation, but there are no significant condition issues.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1868
Latest Date of Origin: 1876
State/Affiliation: Pennsylvania
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price:
 

Views: 298