Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 11.5" x 13.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 4.5" x 7.5"
13 star American national parade flag, block-printed on coarse, glazed cotton. This very scarce example was made sometime between the Civil War (1861-65) and the 100-year anniversary of our nation’s independence in 1876. The wreath pattern canton, with a large center star and 4 flanking corner stars, was a popular design during the centennial celebration. Note how the wreath of this particular flag has a somewhat more oval shape. This is the only 13 star parade flag variety that bears this trait.

While seemingly small, this is actually one of the larger parade flag examples with 13 stars that was produced during the 19th century. Note the crude quality of the printing, which lends a primitive quality that is particularly attractive.

13 star flags have been continuously produced throughout our nation’s history for purposes both patriotic and utilitarian. This was the original number of stars on the American flag, representing the original 13 colonies, so it was appropriate for any flag made in conjunction with celebrations of American independence. 13 star flags were hoisted at patriotic events, including Lafayette’s visit in 1824-25, the celebration of the nation’s centennial in 1876, and the sesquicentennial in 1926. They were displayed during the Civil War, to reference past struggles for American liberty and victory over oppression, and were used by 19th century politicians while campaigning for the same reason.

13 star flags were flown by American ships both private and federal. The U.S. Navy used 13 stars on the ensigns made for small boats, because they wished the stars to be easily discerned at a distance. As the number of stars grew with the addition of new states, it became more and more difficult to fit stars on a small flag so that they may be viewed from afar as individual objects. Because any star count that has previously been official remains so today according to the Congressional flag acts, all 13 star flags in an otherwise appropriate design remain official flags of the United States.

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 gilded American molding dates to the period between 1830 and 1860. The flag has been hand-stitched to a background of 100% cotton twill, black in color, that was washed and treated for colorfastness. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: There is modest to moderate fraying along the hoist end and very minor fraying elsewhere. There is minor loss in the bottom, hoist end corner. There is minor misprinting throughout. 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: Parade flag
Star Count: 13
Earliest Date of Origin: 1861
Latest Date of Origin: 1865
State/Affiliation: 13 Original Colonies
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD

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