Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 22" x 27.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 12.5" x 17.5"
38 star American national parade flag, printed on cotton. This is an extremely rare example of a lineal pattern flag with a wreath or cluster of smaller stars inserted in the center. A very small number of flags in this style are known to have survived, the colors of which are typically saturated and vibrant, like this example, in scarlet red and rich, royal blue.

The particular wreath in the center of the configuration is really more of a pentagon with a single, center star. The reason for the choice of the design and 6 smaller stars seems a curious one on the surface, but its purpose was probably nothing more than to simply augment a 36 star print block to one with 38 stars. One may observe how 4 stars, that would have comprised the center of a 6 x 6 pattern, could have simply been removed and 6 smaller stars inserted in their place, in an artful fashion.

At least two other similar 38-star patterns are known that incorporate 4 small stars intermingled between rows of what most certainly were two very similar 34-star flag print blocks originally. It was easier to modify these blocks rather than create brand new ones. In these particular instances, the results are rare, quirky configurations that are highly prized by collectors.

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. The mount was placed in a cove shaped molding, very dark brown, almost black in color, with red overtones and highlights, to which a flat profile molding with a finish like old gun metal was added as a liner. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: There are some tiny stains, but the overall condition is absolutely excellent for the period.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 38
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1889
State/Affiliation: Colorado
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD

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