Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 37" x 47"
Flag Size (H x L): 24.75" x 35.25"
Confederate flag in the First National design with 7 stars, made sometime between the infancy of secession through the opening of the Civil War. Tiny in scale, at approximately 2 x 3 feet, the maker of this this example, sewn in a cottage industry or commercial setting, apparently had the goal of arranging the stars in a circular wreath. Interestingly, they came closer to making a “U” of 6 stars above which the 7th is more widely suspended, with a greater amount of blue to each side than any of the others. Closer inspection reveals that the inconsistency of the hand-placement actually led to significant variation elsewhere throughout the ring, with the widest expanse between the center point of one star to the next measuring approximately 6.75 inches and the closest just 4.25 inches.

The flag is entirely hand-sewn throughout. The stars are made of cotton and are double- appliquéd (applied to both sides). The canton and bars are made of wool bunting, joined with flat fell seams. There is a plain weave cotton binding along the hoist, in the form of an open sleeve, through which a staff could be inserted and tacked into place. Most likely the flag was produced to be carried as a flank-marker (guidon) or camp colors, in the employment of ground forces. Although larger than Union Army camp colors, the scale would be readily functional in either capacity.

Alternatively, the flag could have seen use on a small maritime craft, or flown from the pilot house of a larger vessel. The lack of evidence of a rope hoist, however, dissuades from the likelihood of it having served in this function. In either event, the size of the flag is tiny among all American examples of the Civil War era with pieced-and-sewn construction. Large enough for strong impact, but small enough to easily display in an indoor setting, the scale is attractive to both collectors and one-time buyers alike.

The First National Confederate flag was the first of three official designs. It was adopted by the Confederate Congress on March 4th, 1861, when in session at the temporary capitol of Montgomery, Alabama. The count of 7 stars reflects the initial wave of secession, which occurred approximately one month prior, on February 7th, in conjunction with the adoption of a provisional constitution. As more states seceded, more stars were added, with a total of 11 officially seceding by way of some manner of popular vote, ratified, in most instances, by the respective state legislatures. The States of Missouri and Kentucky were also sometimes included, for a total of 13. The later were accepted by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, despite their being Border States with divided views and less formal achievement of secession.

The First National is the flag also known as the "Stars & Bars." Because they were so alike, use of the Stars & Stripes and the Stars & Bars on the same, smoke-laden battlefields created great confusion. For this reason, the Second National Confederate flag was adopted on May 26th, 1863. This had a completely white field, with the Southern Cross (a.k.a., the Confederate battle flag) serving as its canton. Soldiers and officers disliked this design because it looked too much like a surrender flag, and if given the opportunity, would dip the end in blood to provide color.

36 days before the war’s end, a vertical red bar was added along the fly to create the Third National design. This was known as the “blood-stained banner,” though officially paid homage to France, which lent aid to the South during the war. Note how if you were to replace the first third of the flag with a blue vertical bar, the result would be the French tricolor (the national flag of France).

The most commonly recognized flag of the Confederacy, often called the “Southern Cross,” “the Confederate battle flag,” or the "Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia," was put to use in the fall of 1861 and carried by various Confederate units for the remainder of the war. This was a better signal, being distinctly different from the Stars & Stripes.

Many people are surprised to learn that the Southern Cross was not the national flag of the Confederate States of America. Officially, in rectangular format, it served as the Confederate Navy Jack, flown when a ship was at port or anchor. In either square or rectangular format, it was carried by land forces as a battle flag, and was assigned that generic title partly because it was so often employed in that function by both Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, he armies of P.G.T. Beauregard, and others. It also received widespread love in the South because the Second and Third National designs were not particularly admired by Confederate soldiers, the Second for reasons previously stated and the Third because the design was so short-lived.

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 background is 100% hemp fabric, ivory in color. The mount was placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass.

Condition: There is some foxing and water staining in the stars and along the hoist, present but less noticeable in the white bar. Otherwise the flag is exceptional, with but two minor holes, likely from mothing, one each in the white and bottom red bars, accompanied by a small scattering of extremely minor mothing elsewhere.
Collector Level: Flags for the truest Patriots. My best offerings
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: 07
Earliest Date of Origin: 1861
Latest Date of Origin: 1861
State/Affiliation: The Confederacy
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD

Views: 284