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  38 STAR ANTIQUE AMERICAN FLAG, WITH SCATTERED STAR POSITIONING, MADE DURING THE PERIOD WHEN COLORADO WAS THE MOST RECENT STATE TO JOIN THE UNION, 1876-1889

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 19.5" x 15.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 10.25" x 6.75"
Description....:
38 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse cotton. The stars are arranged in justified rows of 7-6-6-6-6-7. This results in a secondary pattern that I commonly call a “box-in-a-box-in-a-box”, because of the way in which the seemingly haphazard arrangement creates three consecutive squares. The royal blue and sunburst red pigments are exceptional. Note how the stars point in various directions on their vertical axis, which adds a nice element of folk quality to the overall design.

Colorado became the 38th state on August 1st, 1876. This was the year of our nation’s 100-year anniversary of independence. Per the Third Flag Act of 1818, stars were not officially added until the 4th of July following a state's addition. For this reason, 37 was the official star count for the American flag in 1876. In the latter 19th century it became common to add stars before the respective state(s) had even entered the Union. Flag-making was a competitive venture, and few flag-makers would have been continuing to produce 37 star flags when their competitors were making 38’s. It is for this reason that 38 and 13 stars (to represent the original 13 colonies) are more often seen at the Centennial International Exposition, the six-month long World’s Fair held in Philadelphia in honor of the event. In fact, some flag-makers were actually producing 39 star flags, in hopeful anticipation of the addition of two more Western Territories instead of one. But the 39th state would not join the Union for another 13 years, when the Dakota Territory entered as two states on the same day. The 38 star flag became official on July 4th, 1877 and was generally used until the addition of the Dakotas in 1889.

President Ulysses S. Grant was in office when the first 38 star flags would have appeared. The list of presidents serving during the period when the 38 star flag was actually official include Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, and Benjamin Harrison.

Mounting: The flag was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert trained staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples. Feel free to contact us for more details.

The solid walnut molding has ebonized decoration, dates to the period between 1870 and 1890, and retains its original liner, which was at some point painted gold. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is u.v. protective glass.

Condition: There is modest pigment loss in the canton and at the fly end. There is minor foxing and staining at both the hoist and fly ends. There are three pinprick-sized holes along the hoist end, where the flag was once affixed to its original wooden staff, accompanied by a tiny, dark, rust stain. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 38
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1889
State/Affiliation: Colorado
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
 

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