|38 STAR ANTIQUE AMERICAN PARADE FLAG WITH SCATTERED STAR ORIENTATION, MADE OF SILK, WITH GENEROUS SCALE AND VIVID COLORS, COLORADO STATEHOOD, 1876-1889
|Frame Size (H x L):
|Approx. 43" x 60"
|Flag Size (H x L):
|31" x 48"
|38 star American national parade flag, printed on silk. The stars are arranged in justified, linear rows of 6-7-6-6-7-6. Note how the stars are oriented in various positions on their vertical axis, which adds a strong element of folk quality to the design.
Flags that have rows of stars that are justified in length, yet vary in count, often develop secondary patterns. I refer to this particular style as the "Double-D," due to the two, D-shaped, star formations that face one another, in mirror image, with their backs forming either end of the canton. Other configurations can also be viewed, such as the standing ellipse of 6 stars in the center of the pattern, like the pupil of a cat’s eye, or the hourglass that forms around it, extending from top to bottom, or the two stacked hexagons in the middle, each of which has a star in the center, and which together form a sort of vertical pillar.
This is a very scarce parade flag variety. It is of interest to note that an extremely similar style of parade flag exists, in identical scale and fabric, yet with two rows of 6 at the end, instead of in the middle, and with the stars consistently point-up, point-down throughout (something that is not the case with the flag that is the subject of this narrative).
The hoist and fly ends of the flag are bound with treadle stitching. The colors are bright and vivid. At approximately 2.5 x 4 feet, the flag is rather large in scale among printed parade flags, most of which are 3 feet long or smaller. Because most flags of this era with pieced-and-sewn construction were 8 feet long and larger, the size of this particular example—large enough to make a significant statement, but not too large—is not only scarce, but desirable; perfect for display over a mantle, behind a desk, over a bed or a hearth.
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. Flag-making was a competitive venture, however, 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. Some flag-makers would have been adding a star for the 38th state even before it entered the Union, in the early part of 1876 or even prior. In fact, many makers of parade flags 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.
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, which has been washed and treated to reduce and set the dye. The black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed molding is Italian. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass. Feel free to contact us for more details.
Condition: Exceptional, with just a few extremely tiny stains. Extraordinary for a silk flag of this period.
|Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
|Earliest Date of Origin:
|Latest Date of Origin:
|1866-1890 Indian Wars
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