Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags



  44 STAR ANTIQUE AMERICAN FLAG, MADE CIRCA 1890-1896, WHEN WYOMING WAS THE MOST RECENT STATE TO JOING THE UNION; RARE IN THIS PERIOD WITH A MEDALLION CONFIGURATION OF STARS

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 34.5" x 42"
Flag Size (H x L): 23.5" x 31"
Description....:
44 star American parade flag, printed on plain weave cotton bunting, in a rather large scale among its counterparts. The stars are arranged in a medallion configuration that consists of three wreaths of stars, with a star in the very center and one in each corner. This highly desired pattern is encountered primarily on flags made between the Civil War (1861-65) and the nation’s 100-year anniversary of independence in 1876. While the star design remained undefined on the American national flag until 1912, when then-President William Howard Taft wrote an Executive Order that standardized many of its aspects, flag-makers leaned heavily toward lineal arrangements after 1889.

Note how the even distribution of such a large star count, on a small, square canton, is reminiscent of a clear summer night sky filled with stars. Note how its overall are also rather square, which provides additional visual impact to this great example of 19th century flag-making.

Wyoming was admitted as the 44th state on July 10th, 1890. Although the 44 star count would not become official until July 4th of the following year, flag makers would have begun to add a 44th star immediately, if not even beforehand, in hopeful anticipation. This became common practice among flag-makers during the latter 19th century, reflecting both their support of westward expansion and a desire not to be one step behind their competitors.

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, and while the 44 star count remained so until July 3rd, 1896, it would have generally fallen out of use at the beginning of that year, when Utah gained statehood on January 4th.

I discovered a period image of this particular variety of parade flag, in a hand-dated, 1905 postcard advertising the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. A photo of the front of the house shows two of these flags, affixed to staffs, propped at opposite angles in the front window. While perhaps difficult for the casual observer to identify, a connoisseur of printed flags may recognize their scale and iconic design.

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 flag has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton twill, black in color, that was washed and treated for color-fastness. The black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed molding is Italian. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic.

Condition: There are two extremely minor stains near the fly end of the 3rd white stripe, but there are no other significant condition issues.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 44
Earliest Date of Origin: 1890
Latest Date of Origin: 1896
State/Affiliation: Wyoming
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
 

Views: 294