Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 44" x 78"
Flag Size (H x L): 31.5" x 65.5"
44 star American national flag, made in the period between 1890 and 1896. The stars are arranged in zigzagging lineal rows of 8-7-8-7-7-7, which creates an interesting visual effect and is a configuration sometimes encountered in this star count. Because there was no official pattern until 1912, the design was left up to the liberties of the maker.

Also contributing to the flag's presentation is the ratio between its height and its width. The profile is more elongated than usual, which almost always provides for an attractive display.

Wyoming joined the Union as the 44th state on July 10th, 1890. Although the 44 star count would not become official until July 4th of the following year, many flag makers would have begun to add a 44th star to their flags at the time that the state was added. Some may have even done this beforehand, in hopeful anticipation. This was common practice among flag-makers both commercial in the latter 19th century.

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, so while the 44 star count remained official 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.

The canton and stripes of the flag are made of wool bunting that has been pieced and sewn with treadle stitching. The stars are made of cotton and are double-appliqu├ęd (applied to both sides) with a zigzag machine stitch. There is a heavy canvas binding along the hoist with two brass grommets. The name "Holt" or "Halt" is inscribed near the top of the binding, on the obverse, with a grease pencil or crayon. This is likely the name of a former owner and it was common to mark flags in this manner during the 19th and early 20th centuries to indicate ownership.

Measuring approximately 5.5 feet on the fly, the size of the flag might seem somewhat large by today's standards. In the 19th century, however, this is an especially small example among its counterparts with pieced-and-sewn construction. Prior to the 1890's, flags with sewn construction often needed to be large in order to serve their utilitarian function as signals. Lengths of 8-feet and longer were common. A six-foot flag was considered small. Even decorative flags were very large, generally following the scale of their military counterparts.

Beginning around 1890, flag-maker's began for the first time to produce sewn flags in quantity that measured 3 - 4 feet on the fly. These, however, almost always bore 13 stars, instead of a count representing the full complement of states at the time. Collectors and one-time-buyers alike prefer smaller flags, like this one, that can be more easily framed and displayed in a modern, indoor setting.

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 background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. The scooped profile molding has a rope style lip and a finish that is very dark brown in color, nearly black, with reddish highlights and overtones. To this a distressed silver liner was added. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass. Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition: There is very minor mothing throughout, the most significant of which is represented by a small lateral area of loss in the 4th red stripe. A small piece of period fabric was placed behind this during the mounting process for masking purposes. There is very minor foxing and staining. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Sewn 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

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