Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 16.5" x 12.25"
Flag Size (H x L): 4" x 6" on a 10.25" staff
45 star American national flag, printed on coarse cotton, with its stars arranged in what has been termed a "notched" configuration.

Utah joined the Union as the 45th state on January 4th, 1896. Although the 45 star count would not become official until July 4th of that year, many flag makers would have begun to add a 45th star to their flags at the time that the state was added. Some may have even elected to do so beforehand, in hopeful anticipation. This was common practice among flag-makers both commercial in the latter 19th century.

According to the Third Flag Act, enacted by Congress on April 4, 1818, stars were to be added on Independence Day following a state's addition. Flag makers didn't generally care what was official, however, so while the 45 star count remained official until July 3rd, 1908, it would have generally fallen out of use when Oklahoma gained statehood on November 16th, 1907.

Evidence of the eagerness for new states is particular notable on this flag, which leaves 3 open spaces along the hoist end for the addition of Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona. Earlier in the 19th century, the complement of territories, their names, borders, and potential for statehood were less certain. After the Dakota Territory entered as two separate states in 1889, the remainder of the path was easier to predict. For this reason, one will find 44 star flags with 4 notches for additional states, and 46 star flags with 2 notches, preceding the future count of 48 that was achieved in 1912. Notched patterns appear in earlier flags, as well, but not with the correct number of spaces to reach a sum of 48 states in the continental union. [Alaska and Hawaii were not added until 47 and 48 years later, in 1959 and 1960, respectively].

In addition to the historical interest of the notched design, note how the pleasant shade of blue, the faded, mulberry red, the crude nature of the hand, block printing, and the overall patina add endearing, graphic appeal.

When Utah finally entered the Union, it had been attempting to gain statehood for many years. It remained a territory primarily due to the fact that the Mormon Church and Utah authorities continued to be openly tolerant of polygamy. In 1890, Mormon Church President Wilford Woodruff published a manifesto that denounced the contract of “any marriages forbidden by the law of the land”. This gave way to Utah’s 1896 acceptance. Due to the Spanish-American War (1898) and Teddy Roosevelt’s famous world tour of the “White Fleet” (launched in 1907), the tenure of the 45 star flag occurred within an extremely patriotic period of early American history.

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 dark brown molding, nearly black, with reddish undertones and highlights, to which a black-painted and gilded Italian molding was added as a liner. 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: There is moderate fading of the red stripes, accompanied by moderate oxidation and soiling. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 45
Earliest Date of Origin: 1896
Latest Date of Origin: 1908
State/Affiliation: Utah
War Association: 1898 Spanish American War
Price: SOLD

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