Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 31" x 32"
Flag Size (H x L): 19.25" x 20.25"
Printed cotton kerchief, made for the 1912 presidential campaign of Theodore Roosevelt and Hiram Johnson when they ran on the Progressive Party ticket (Bull Moose Campaign). Roosevelt's love for the American West made for a natural fit with the classic red banana. In this example, the typical array of geometric shapes in the center field is replaced by the repeating initials “TR”. These surround a square, white, central window, inside which is Teddy’s trademark Rough Rider’s slouch hat, around which is what appears to be a fence. This illutrates the words of the former president, who, after stating that he would never run again, changed his mind and declared "My hat is in the ring." A wide border around the perimeter is decorated with repeating images of a bespectacled Roosevelt wearing the hat, with his iconic toothy grin.

A bandanna in this style is documented in “Threads of History”, by Herbert Ridgeway Collins, as item 933 on page 371 (Smithsonian Press, 1979). Collins served as curator of political history at the Smithsonian and his landmark text is considered the definitive reference on political flag and textile collecting.

A signature in the lower left corner reads: “Sold exclusively by the National Kerchief Company, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco”, followed by “Design Pat. Applied For” in the lower right.. In the upper left corner are the words "Copyright 1912 W.A. Loftus."

Theodore Roosevelt and the 1912 Campaign:

After serving as president from 1901-1904 following the death of William McKinley, and his subsequent election to the office with running mate Charles Warren Fairbanks in 1904, Roosevelt declined to run again in 1908. His decision reflected a long-standing tradition that presidents were expected to leave office after two terms. Teddy appointed his friend, William Howard Taft, as his successor, and Taft went on to win the election of 1908. During his forthcoming administration, however, a rift grew between Taft and Roosevelt, who each became leaders of the Republican Party's two ever-spreading wings. The progressives, under Roosevelt, opposed the court system, favored restrictions on women's employment, favored conservation, were more favorable toward labor unions, and opposed tariffs. The conservatives, under Taft, were pro-business and insisted on judicial supremacy. By 1910 the split was deep. Roosevelt ran for nomination on the Republican ticket but lost to Taft, so in true T.R. fashion, he waved off defeat and set out on his own.

Officially titled the Progressive Party, Roosevelt adopted the Bull Moose as its mascot and the party adopted the animal as its nickname. Despite rather serious opposition from his many Republican friends, he jumped into the ring with no apparent reason to believe that he might actually lose. In the election, he did beat Taft, gaining 88 electoral votes versus Taft’s almost non-existent count of 8, and by doing so became the only man in history to place second on an independent ticket. He was slaughtered by Wilson, however, who received 435 votes in the Electoral College and went on to serve two terms.

Afterwards a disgruntled Roosevelt, eager to put the election behind him, retreated to what he loved best, risk and adventure. In 1914 he traveled to the Amazon jungle, where he ran down an uncharted river and nearly perished. He passed in his sleep of a coronary embolism not long afterward in 1919, during Wilson’s second term. To this Wilson's vice president at the time, Thomas R. Marshall, remarked: "Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight." The former president was buried at Youngs Memorial Cemetery near Sagamore Hill, his Oyster Bay, NY estate.

Hiram Johnson was a California-born attorney who gained fame as a prosecutor in public corruption cases and was eventually elected Governor of the state. This occurred in 1911, just one year before being nominated as the Progressive Party's vice presidential candidate. He remained governor throughout the campaign and until 1917, the year that the U.S. entered WWI. He ran for the United States Senate that same year, was elected, and served until his death in 1945, the year that also saw the close of WWII.

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 gilded French molding is of excellent quality. To this a black, scooped profile molding was added as a liner. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: Excellent.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1912
Latest Date of Origin: 1912
War Association:
Price: SOLD

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