Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 21.5" x 27.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 11.75" x 18"
40 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton. During the 3rd quarter of the 19th century, it was eventually clear, for reasons both financial and political, that the Dakota Territory would be divided into two states when admitted to the Union. When the Western Territories were about to be admitted, there was a great deal of maneuvering to see which state would be first. Flag makers had to anticipate how many stars were needed to update the next flag that they would produce.

40 star flags reflect the addition of both North and South Dakota, which became our 39th and 40th states on the same day, that being November 2nd of 1889. Because Montana was admitted on November 8th, just six days later, the 40 star flag became inaccurate almost immediately and wasn’t produced for all practical purposes. Until about 15 years ago, 40 star parade flags were effectively unknown. No examples had previously been documented in any text on the subject of flag collecting. Since then approx. 10-20 examples have been discovered in this format, as well as another, single flag in a previously undocumented style.*

Note in particular the crude, whimsical shapes of the stars, which are oriented this way and that on their vertical axis. The overall effect has wonderful graphic impact, as does the weave of the fabric, the weft of which arches and sweeps across the straight strands of the warp. Because most coarse cotton parade flags are not like this, the result makes it stand out among its many counterparts of the mid-late 19th century. Also of interest is the way in which the blue pigment stretches through the hoist area from the canton, then down into the 4 stripes below it, which adds another unusual element to the flag's appearance.

Mounting: The solid walnut molding retains its original gilded liner and dates to the period between 1870 and 1890, and so is roughly period to the flag itself. The flag was mounted and framed within 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; more than anyone worldwide.

The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass. Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition: Excellent, with only very minor foxing.

*Note: A third style exists where it may be presumed that there are 40 stars, but one star and part of another are not visible due to an image of a greenback dollar that overlaps the design. Made for Greenback Party supporters in the presidential campaign of 1868, there are two varieties. One pictures Horatio Seymour and the other George Pendleton. Seymour replaced Pendleton as the party's preferred nominee.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 40
Earliest Date of Origin: 1889
Latest Date of Origin: 1889
State/Affiliation: South Dakota
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD

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