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ANTIQUE AMERICAN FLAG WITH 15 STARS & 15 STRIPES, A COPY OF THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER, THE FAMOUS FLAG IN AMERICA, UPON WHICH FRANCIS SCOTT KEY GAZED IN BALTIMORE HARBOR WHILE WRITING THE WORDS TO THE SONG OF THE SAME NAME; REFLECTS THE ADDITION OF KENTUCKY AS THE 15TH STATE IN 1892. THIS FLAG LIKELY MADE BY ANNIN & COMPANY IN NEW YORK CITY TO COMMEMORATE THE CENTENNIAL OF THE WAR OF 1812

ANTIQUE AMERICAN FLAG WITH 15 STARS & 15 STRIPES, A COPY OF THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER, THE FAMOUS FLAG IN AMERICA, UPON WHICH FRANCIS SCOTT KEY GAZED IN BALTIMORE HARBOR WHILE WRITING THE WORDS TO THE SONG OF THE SAME NAME; REFLECTS THE ADDITION OF KENTUCKY AS THE 15TH STATE IN 1892. THIS FLAG LIKELY MADE BY ANNIN & COMPANY IN NEW YORK CITY TO COMMEMORATE THE CENTENNIAL OF THE WAR OF 1812

Web ID: 15j-818
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): 70" x 108.25"
Flag Size (H x L): 58" x 96.5"
 
Description:
15 star American national flag with 15 stripes, likely made by between roughly 1912 and 1914, likely to commemorate the Star Spangled Banner, the most famous surviving flag from early America. The original was a 32-foot long garrison flag, made by Mary Pickersgill in Baltimore, Maryland in the summer of 1813, during the War of 1812, and flown at Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. It this flag that Francis Scott Key was gazing upon, in 1814, when he wrote the song that would become our national anthem.

The first flag act of 1777 provided for 13 stripes and 13 stars. When Vermont and then Kentucky became the 14th and 15th states in 1791 and 1792, respectively, there were no immediate changes to the national flag. Three years later, in 1795, the second flag act was passed by Congress, raising both the count of both the stripes and the stars to 15. This remained the official specification through the addition of five more states until finally, following the addition of Mississippi as the 20th state in 1818, the count of stars was raised again to 20. At this time the number of stripes was returned the original 13, where it remains today almost 200 years later, to reflect the 13 original colonies.

Surviving 15 star flags that actually date to the 15 star period are extraordinarily rare. By this I mean flags dating between 1792-1796, when there were exactly 15 states, or in the official 15-star period, between 1795-1818. Approximately five examples are presently known, including the Star Spangled Banner, all of which have a complement of 15 stripes.

Other flags with 15 stars were sometimes produced outside the 1792-1818 period. Even these are extremely scarce. Some were produced during the mid-late 19th century, possibly to glorify Kentucky as the 15th state. Others, like the one in question here, were made to replicate the design of the Star Spangled banner in the early 20th century. The fact that so few exist raises their interest among collectors who wish to own a flag in this star count, irrespective of the precise period of manufacture.

This particular flag was probably made sometime between 1912 and 1914, to remember the War of 1812 and the flag that inspired our anthem. There was a rebirth of American patriotism at the time, which grew even more during WWI (U.S. involvement 1917-18), and popular design trends reflected the American Federal period (1790-1820's).

The canton and stripes of the flag are made of wool bunting that has been joined with machine stitching. The stars of the flag 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 2 brass grommets.

Likely made by the Annin Company in New York City, who marked some of their flags but not all. I have previously owned a smaller version of this identical flag with an early Annin tag.

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.

The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. The black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed molding is Italian. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic (Plexiglas). Feel free to contact us for more details.

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Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: 15
Earliest Date of Origin: 1912
Latest Date of Origin: 1914
State/Affiliation: Kentucky
War Association: 1777-1860 Pre-Civil War
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com


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