Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L):
Flag Size (H x L): 114" x 170"
36 star flag, made at the shop of John Disney, a sailmaker in Albany, New York, sometime between 1864 and 1867. This is the only flag I have ever encountered with the Disney maker's mark. Information on the shop is scarce, but I was grateful to have been able to locate a print ad from the precise period in which the flag was constructed by Disney. This appeared in a city directory entitled: "The Albany Directory for the Year 1866: Containing a General Directory of the Citizens, a Business Directory, and Other Miscellaneous Matter." The content reads as follows:

"John T. Disney, ship chandler and sail maker, No. 1 State Street and 52 Quay Street, Albany, N.Y.; manufacturer of Boston patent cordage, and dealer in sail duck, London bunting, oakum., &c. flags and banners made to order and always on hand. New and old canvas for canal boats, paints, oils, naval stores, Boston manilla, tow line, Italian and Russian rope of all sizes."

Nevada entered the Union as the 36th state on October 31st, Halloween, in 1864. Ushered in by Abraham Lincoln just eight days before the presidential election that resulted in his second term, the territory’s wealth in silver was attractive to a nation struggling with the debts of war and so increased support for the Republican ticket. The 36th star was officially added on July 4th, 1865, but since the flag makers generally cared very little about official star counts, the production of 36 star flags began much earlier. The makers of printed flags are known to have begun adding the 36th star as early as July of 1864, several months before the addition of Nevada actually occurred. This was a common practice during the late 19th century and is reflective of both the nation's desire for Westward Expansion and the hope of flag-makers to bring new star counts to market before their competitors. The 36 star flag was officially replaced by the 37 star flag in 1867, following the addition of Nebraska.

Construction: The stars are made of cotton, hand-sewn, and single-appliquéd. This means that they were applied to one side of the canton, then the blue fabric was cut from behind each star, folded over, and under-hemmed, so that one star could be viewed on both sides of the flag. I always find single-appliquéd stars more interesting, not only because they are evidence of a more difficult level of seam-work and stitching, but also because they are more visually intriguing. Both the sewing itself and stretching of the fabrics over time results in stars that tend to have irregular shapes and interesting presentation. This is why flags with single-appliquéd stars often appeal to connoisseurs of early American textiles. The two visible rows of hand-stitching emphasize their hand-sewn construction and the nature of the technique leads to elevates folk qualities. The stripes and canton of the flag are made of wool bunting. The canton was pieced and sewn to the striped field with hand-stitching. The stripes were joined to one-another, and to the canton on its lower edge, with treadle stitching. There is a hand-sewn binding along the hoist, made of sailcloth canvas, with 3 brass grommets. Along this, on the obverse, the name “W. Winnie” is inscribed with a dip pen, accompanied by “No. 102 G[sic].” The illegible word appears to be the name of a street. The Disney stencil appears on the obverse. Mounting: The flag has not yet been mounted.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: 36
Earliest Date of Origin: 1864
Latest Date of Origin: 1867
State/Affiliation: Nevada
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD

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