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  13 STARS ON AN ANTIQUE AMERICAN FLAG MADE FOR USE BY CIVIL WAR VETERANS AT THE 50-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG, WITH A RELATIONSHIP TO THE STORY OF GINNIE WADE

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 13.25" x 9"
Flag Size (H x L): 8.75" x 3.75" on 2
Description....:
13 star American parade flag, printed on glazed cotton and retaining its original staff. The flag bears an overprint in black that reads:

1863 – 1913
Compliments of
Skelly Post #9
Penna. Dept. G.A.R

Parade flags with overprinted text are generally rare and highly collected. This one served as a souvenir for the 50th anniversary of Gettysburg, 1913, when a great celebration was held. This was the first major “Blue & Grey” reunion, when men from both the North and the South came together in great numbers to honor the fallen.

The G.A.R., or Grand Army of the Republic, was the primary association for Civil War veterans of the Union Army. Similar to today’s American Legion or V.F.W., it was a benevolent and social organization, but more fraternal in nature.

Founded in 1866, the G.A.R. was among the first organized advocacy groups in American politics, appealing for voting rights for black veterans, providing patriotic education, lobbying the United States Congress to establish regular veterans' pensions, and supporting Republican political candidates. The G.A.R. was instrumental in making Memorial Day a national holiday. In 1890, its membership peaked at 410,000 members.

The Skelly Post was Gettysburg’s own chapter. Its name is of particular historical interest. Jack Skelly was engaged to marry Jennie (also known as Gin or Ginnie) Wade, the only civilian to be killed at the battle of Gettysburg. As Jennie’s father had worked for Jack’s, they had grown up together and been close childhood friends. Jennie was killed by a sniper’s bullet on July 3rd, 1863. Jack had been mortally wounded on June 15th. He sent a letter to Jennie with a mutual friend who fought for the Confederacy, Wesley Culp, but Wesley was also killed in Gettysburg on the same day as Jennie, and the letter was never delivered. Jack and Jennie were buried together at Gettysburg’s Evergreen Cemetery, and the Gettysburg veterans named their post after Jack Skelly. Today the Jennie Wade House remains a major Gettysburg attraction and is open for visitors.

Two varieties of flags are known with this overprint. The other has 48 stars in staggered rows. This type of 13 star flag was made to celebrate our nation’s 100-year anniversary of independence in 1876. Many 13 star parade flags of this exact type still exist today from the centennial, and it is likely that the overprint was applied to flags left over flags from the earlier period.

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 then placed in a paint-decorated and gilded molding that dates to the period between 1840 and 1870. The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color, that has been washed and treated to reduce and set the dye. Spacers keep the textile away from the glass, which is U.V. protective.

Condition: There is minor fading, but there are no serious condition issues.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 13
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1913
State/Affiliation: 13 Original Colonies
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD
 

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