Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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LARGE, SWALLOWTAILED, SUFFRAGETTE PENNANT IN A BLACK & ORANGE COLOR COMBINATION UNIQUE TO THIS EXAMPLE, WITH APPLIED LETTERING THAT READS "VOTES FOR WOMEN” DOWN A WIDE, CENTRAL STRIPE, THIS PRECISE EXAMPLE ILLUSTRATED IN THE BEST REFERENCE ON SUFFRAGE OBJECTS, POSSIBLY WITH TIES TO NEW JERSEY; MADE circa 1912-1919

LARGE, SWALLOWTAILED, SUFFRAGETTE PENNANT IN A BLACK & ORANGE COLOR COMBINATION UNIQUE TO THIS EXAMPLE, WITH APPLIED LETTERING THAT READS "VOTES FOR WOMEN” DOWN A WIDE, CENTRAL STRIPE, THIS PRECISE EXAMPLE ILLUSTRATED IN THE BEST REFERENCE ON SUFFRAGE OBJECTS, POSSIBLY WITH TIES TO NEW JERSEY; MADE circa 1912-1919

Web ID: ws-125
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): 20.5" x 42"
Flag Size (H x L): 11" x 29'
 
Description:
Large, felt, Suffragette pennant with a tapered, swallowtail format. Black in color, with an orange binding and black ties, there is a wide orange stripe down the center, upon which applied, black, felt letters read simply: "Votes for Women." Golden yellow was the customary color of the suffrage movement in America, coupled with a variety of subordinate colors, primarily black on felt textiles. Purple and green were the traditional colors of the movement in England, though these sometimes appear in the States, as they were adopted by one of the leading Suffrage organizations in the northeast, namely the Women’s Political Union (WPU) of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

While some deep yellows border on orange, a true orange, like that presented here, is not a color that I have ever seen employed in Suffrage materials of any sort. Unique among them, this exact pennant is documented in "The Keynoter: Journal of the American Political Items Conservators," Summer/Fall/Winter 2008 (Women's Suffrage Special Triple Issue), Volume 2008, Number 2-4, p. 129.*

This particular style of pennant is known in two color variations, both of which exhibit the usual golden yellow and black. The most common of these has yellow letters on black, sandwiched between panels of yellow. One of this type is illustrated in the same Keynoter publication, on page 37. Far scarcer is the mirror image opposite of this, with black letters on yellow, between panels of black, similar to the pennant that is the subject of this narrative.

It may be that there was simply not enough golden yellow felt to complete an order placed for pennants in this style, and that orange was substituted to fill in its stead. Alternatively, it may be that the colors were purposefully selected, say for a rally on the campus of a university, such as Princeton, that used these colors. It is of interest to note that the New Jersey Historical Society presented images on page 128 of the Keynoter, related to the topic of women’s baseball and Suffrage, attributing them to the Amelia Berndt Moorfield Collection. Born in Kentucky, Moorfield moved to New Jersey as a young girl, became involved in the Suffrage movement, and was recruited by the head of the Women’s Political Union of New Jersey to serve as secretary and treasurer. It’s unclear whether the items on the facing page (129) are in any way related to the NJHS or Moorfield, but the pennant appears here beneath academic robes with “Votes for Women” applied to the velvet bands. Though none of the other objects here are from the WPU, Moorfield was known to be a collector, was Ivy League-educated at Columbia, and the bands of the gown are (appropriately) blue.

While many of Moorfield’s extensive document collection, photos, and other paper ephemera were donated to the NJHS by her only daughter, Hannah, three-dimensional objects related to Moorfield have periodically turned up in the antiques marketplace, perhaps kept in the family due to their perceived value, or because they were more attractive.

Whatever the case may be with regard to a relationship to Amelia Moorfield, this one-of-a-kind pennant is a tremendous relic of the American Suffrage movement.

Mounting: The textile 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 related textiles and have framed thousands of examples.

The pennant has been hand-stitched to 100% hemp fabric. The mount was placed in a square, black-painted, wooden molding, to which a black molding with gold scrollwork was added as a liner. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic (Plexiglas).

Condition: Excellent, with only a tiny stain under the letter “0”.

* While poorly cropped and pasted, and improperly illustrated as darker yellow, leaning towards orange, one may examine the odd placement of the letters throughout—a product of variation via its hand-made construction—to verify a match.
Video:
   
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1912
Latest Date of Origin: 1920
State/Affiliation:
War Association:
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com


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