Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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  EXTRAORDINARY LENGTH OF BLUE, FELT RIBBON FROM THE WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT, OF THE TYPE WORN AS HATBANDS, ARMBANDS, AND NARROW SASHES; THE ONLY EARLY TEXTILE OF ANY SORT THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN THAT ACTUALLY INCLUDES THE WORD “SUFFRAGETTES,” ONE-OF-A-KIND AMONG KNOWN EXAMPLES, PROBABLY OF NEW YORK ORIGIN, circa 1910-20

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 7.75" x 30.25"
Flag Size (H x L): 1.5" x 23.75"
Description....:
Blue felt ribbon, with a white, paint-printed image of a young girl, holding what appears to be a small torch, flanked by text that reads: “Vote for the Suffragette’s.” While I used to presume that such textiles were meant to be wrapped around the brim of a ladies’ hat—and this may have been the function intended by the maker—period imagery survives of even smaller examples being worn by women diagonally, pinned across their dress fronts, as sashes. Probably they were worn as armbands and otherwise employed in any manner a creative person so desired.

Golden Yellow was the customary color of the suffrage movement in America, coupled with a variety of subordinate colors, primarily black. Purple and green were the traditional colors of the women's movement in England, though these were sometimes on American objects, as well. Blue is unusual. Most of the identifiable objects in this color were employed by the Empire State Campaign Committee of New York State, led by Carrie Chapman Catt (b. 1859, d. 1947). This organization was instrumental in the 1915 push that brought the issue of suffrage to vote in New York. On November 2nd of that year, male voters defeated a referendum that would have amended the U.S. Constitution to give all women of the state the right to vote. Three other eastern states found the matter presented to their populous in that same year, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Although unsuccessful in all four states, Catt’s efforts, aided by others, paid off in 1917, when New York became the first eastern state to adopt suffrage.

Brief History of Carrie Chapman Catt:
Born in Wisconsin, Catt attended Iowa State College and joined the Iowa Woman Suffrage Association in 1887. She soon became an officer and in 1890 became a delegate to the newly formed National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), of which Susan B. Anthony was president. Catt became a driving force almost immediately, speaking at the 1890 NASWA annual meeting, and in 1892 was asked by Anthony to address Congress on the proposed woman’s suffrage amendment.

Catt was chosen as head of field organizing for the NAWSA and in 1900 was elected to succeed Anthony as president. She served for 4 years, resigning in order that she may care for her dying husband. In 1904 she founded the International Woman Suffrage Organization, serving as its president until 1923 and afterwards, until her death, as its honorary president. In 1915 she was reelected as president of the NASWA and served until 1920, when victory was had in the United States and the 19th amendment passed. Success came on the coattails of the U.K., where women obtained voting rights in 1918.

Leading up to 1920, Catt's leadership the suffrage movement focused on success in at least one eastern state, because previous to 1917, only western territories and states had granted women suffrage. Catt felt that state decisions were critical to success on the national level.

Public support had been favorable in New York in that year, where the suffrage movement was 100,000 members strong. Polls had predicted the likeliness of a win, and while it did not occur that year, Catt led a successful follow-up campaign in 1917.

Mounting: The textile was mounted and framed in 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 pennant has been hand-stitched to 100% hemp fabric. The mount was then placed in a molding with a step-down profile, with a very dark brown finish, almost black, with reddish undertones and highlights, to which a distressed silver liner was added. Spacers keep the glazing away from the textile, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: Some misprinting, well-warranted by the extreme rarity.
Collector Level: Flags for the truest Patriots. My best offerings
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1910
Latest Date of Origin: 1920
State/Affiliation: New York
War Association:
Price: SOLD
 

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