|13 STAR AMERICAN PARADE FLAG IN AN EXTREMELY RARE DESIGN, WITH “PROTECTION TO HOME INDUSTRIES” SLOGAN ON A FANCIFUL, SCROLLING STREAMER, MADE FOR THE 1888 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF BENJAMIN HARRISON; FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF RICHARD PIERCE
|Frame Size (H x L):||28" x 35.5"|
|Flag Size (H x L):||17" x 24.75"|
|1888 Benjamin Harrison campaign flag, printed on cotton, with 13 large stars in a 3-2-3-2-3 pattern, upon which a whimsical, scrolling streamer is superimposed that features the slogan: “Protection to Home Industries.”
There are numerous styles of both documented and undocumented, red, white, and blue bandanas and handkerchiefs, made for Harrison’s campaign in this year, as well as from the subsequent one, in 1892. Most bear variations of text to support the “Protection for American Industries” platform of the Republican Party. America was in the midst of the industrial age and there was a great deal of public interest, both in protecting growth and discouraging both imported goods and immigration. The constant stream of immigrants posed great challenges for a working families, competing for scarce jobs, in work environments that were already often far from ideal. In post-Civil War America, many of the working men were Civil War veterans.
Bandanas abound from Harrison’s Campaigns, but flags do not. This example, along with three others, were once part of an 1888 patriotic quilt that was disassembled by a dealer and sold piecemeal to collectors. I eventually acquired all four. Fifteen to twenty years ago, these were the only four known copies. A couple of others have since surfaced, but the total count known still stands closer to 5 than 10.
The use of 13 stars is seen in the flags of various candidates in the 19th century. Among these are Abraham Lincoln (1860 campaign), Henry Clay (1844 campaign), John Fremont (1856), and Benjamin Harrison’s grandfather, William Henry Harrison (1840). Ben Harrison used his grandfather’s popularity to aid his late 19th century campaigns, bringing back such elements the log cabin motif, employed by his grandfather, suggesting that he supported the common working man, as well as the word “Tippecanoe,” recalling the name of the 1813 battle in which William Henry Harrison famously defeated Native American chief, Tecumseh, and his confederation of various Indian nations.
Ben Harrison’s use of 13 stars draws a parallel between Colonial America and the continuing struggle for independence in the 19th century, including his own service as a Union Army General in the Civil War. His great, great grandfather, Governor of Virginia, was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, father to William Henry, who left a life of privilege to receive commission as an Army officer in 1791, when the 13 star flag was still official, and spent much of the remainder of his life in the American Northwest, serving as both Secretary of the Northwest Territory and Governor of the Indiana Territory.
Provenance: Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques to collector Richard Pierce.
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 black-painted and gilded molding, with its wide, shaped profile, is Italian. The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color, that has been washed and treated for colorfastness. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic (Plexiglas). Feel free to contact us for more details.
Condition: There are minor stains in limited areas, the largest of which is within the scrollwork, above the text, and there is some irregular application of the blue pigment, along with minor to modest fading.
|Collector Level:||Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts|
|Flag Type:||Parade flag|
|Earliest Date of Origin:||1888|
|Latest Date of Origin:||1888|
|Price:||Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281|