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  DIAGONAL FORMAT KERCHIEF WITH THE IMAGES OF A BULL MOOSE AND A PORTRAIT OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT, MADE HIS 1912 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, WHEN HE RAN ON THE INDEPENDENT, PROGRESSIVE PARTY TICKET, AN EXTREMELY SCARCE AND GRAPHICALLY PLEASING EXAMPLE

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 36.5" x 36" on the diagonal
Flag Size (H x L): 18" x 17.5"
Description....:
Among the various styles of red bandannas produced for the 1912, Bull Moose Party ticket of Teddy Roosevelt, two rare varieties share first place in my opinion, tied for my favorite design. One is extraordinarily busy, overloaded with a myriad of imagery. This one is more austere; one might even suggest traditional, yet no less graphically pleasing. The design consists of a linear border that intersects at each corner, inside which is a repeating arrangement of six open rectangles, one larger than the others, that may represent tortoises or turtles. Running corner-to-corner are the words "Progressive Party," this being the formal name of Roosevelt's newly-organized political organization. Standing perpendicular to this, in the opposite corners, are two open windows. One of these contains a highly detailed portrait of the president, printed with an engraving rendered from the image of TR taken by Pach Brothers of New York City (photographers) on May 11th, 1904. Beneath this are the words "We Want Our Teddy Back." The other medallion contains a Bull Moose and the caption: "Born 1912."

Across the known types of kerchiefs made for the campaign, this is the only one with a diagonal format, and yet with the peculiar direction of the moose and the date, it maintains no position that is necessarily upright. In addition to the scarcity of this textile, the attractive portrait, slogan, and intriguing lack of direction, lend to an example that worthy of appreciation.

Of no less importance to the value of this bandanna is the simple fact that it was produced for one of the most beloved personalities in American political history. Even so, TR's decision to enter the 1912 election was not exactly popular among many of his friends and former supporters. His participation manifested into a unique political incident, in which the independent, Roosevelt, beat out a major party ticket, garnering 27.4% of the vote. At the same time, however, he lost the White House, not only for himself, but for his former Republican friends as well, by dividing support between his candidacy and that of incumbent President William Howard Taft. The result handed the office to Woodrow Wilson, who became only the second Democrat politician to be elected to our nation's highest office since 1856 [noting that Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, 1885-89 and 93-96).

A kerchief in this style is documented in “Threads of History”, by Herbert Ridgeway Collins, as item 936 on page 372 (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.

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 kerchief has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton, black in color. The black fabric was washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. The mount was placed in a two-part frame that consists of a step-down profile molding, dark brown in color, nearly black, with reddish undertones and highlights, to which a flat profile molding, with a finish like old gunmetal, was added as a liner. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass.

Condition: There is minor water staining in limited areas. The overall condition is excellent and especially so in consideration of its scarcity.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1912
Latest Date of Origin: 1912
State/Affiliation: New York
War Association:
Price: SOLD
 

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