Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 18.25" x 15"
Flag Size (H x L): 10.5" x 7"
29 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton. The stars are arranged in a double wreath pattern with a large center star and 4 flanking corner stars. Note how the arms of the stars have an exaggerated length and thus bear a very interesting folk quality. This is one of my favorite early parade examples because of the great visual impact of its design.

The 29th state, Iowa, entered the Union on December 28th, 1846. Although the 29 star flag became official on July 4th, 1846, and remained so until July 3rd, 1848, flag-makers would have added a star when Iowa gained statehood, if not even beforehand, in anticipation of the state's entry. Production of 29 star flags would have ceased on or around May 29th, 1848, when Wisconsin entered the Union. This was the period during which the United States went to war with Mexico, in the wake of its annexation and during a time of heightened westward expansion.

Flags made prior to the Civil War comprise less than one percent of 19th century flags that have survived into the 21st century. Prior to the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the Stars & Stripes was simply not used for most of the same purposes we employ it in today. Private individuals did not typically display the flag in their yards and on their porches. Parade flags didn't often fly from carriages and horses. Places of business rarely hung flags in their windows. Private use of the national flag rose swiftly during the patriotism that accompanied the Civil War, then exploded in 1876.

Even the military did not use the flag in a manner that most people might think. The primary purpose before the Civil War was to mark ships on the open seas. While the flag was used to mark some garrisons, the flags of ground troops were often limited to the flag of their own regiment and a Federal standard. Most people would be surprised to learn that the infantry wasn’t authorized to carry the Stars & Stripes until 1837. Even then it was neither required nor customary. It was not until the Civil War took place that most U.S. ground forces carried the national flag.

Mounting: The exceptional, black-painted, American frame dates to the period between 1830 and 1860 and retains its original surface. The flag has been hand-stitched to a background of 100% cotton, black in color, that was washed and treated to reduce and set the dye. Spacers keep the textile away from the glass, which is U.V. protective. The work was completed 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 exceptional, black-painted, American frame retains its original surface and dates to the period between 1800 and 1830. To this a gilded molding of the mid-19th century 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 minor foxing and staining throughout, accompanied by moderate foxing and soiling in the lower, fly end corner. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 29
Earliest Date of Origin: 1846
Latest Date of Origin: 1848
State/Affiliation: Iowa
War Association: 1777-1860 Pre-Civil War
Price: SOLD

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