Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 26" x 48"
Flag Size (H x L): 14.25" x 35.5"
This large felt pennant, with its beautifully saturated colors, bears a version of Mexico's iconic eagle and rattlesnake consistent with the design adopted for the national flag in 1893. Official from that year until 1916, the pennant was probably made towards the latter end of this date spectrum, or perhaps even just afterward, in the period between approximately 1910 and 1920. This was the era of Francisco "Poncho" Villa and the Mexican Revolution.

America had an interesting relationship with Mexico during this period. In 1916, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sent General John Pershing to capture Villa. The chase ended abruptly in 1917, when the U.S. entered WWI (U.S. involvement 1917-1918). It was in this year that the U.S. recognized the Carranza government of the Mexican Revolutionaries, in order to secure a status of Mexican neutrality in the World War. U.S. intervention was a direct consequence of the Zimmermann telegram, sent by Germany to Mexico, which proposed a military alliance in the event that the United States entered the war against Germany.

The image in the green, left-hand register consists of an eagle, perched on a prickly pear (cactus), gripping a rattlesnake in one of its talons and beak. Absent from the design on the flag of that time is the wreath of oak and laurel branches and striped bow with the national colors.

In the persimmon red, right-hand register, the word "Mexico" appears in white in Old English letters. While simple in style and seemingly generic, I have not before seen this pennant. Further, it's an especially early one as felt pennants go, dating to around the very beginning of their use. Surpassing both scarcity and age, however, it's the presentation that wins the day with regard to this example.

Variations of the eagle have been in use since 1821 and the rattlesnake appearing in 1823. The original rattlesnake design was very similar to the one on the flag in question here. Used until 1829, then readopted from 1858-1862, and once again from 1867-1893, the primary difference between the first snake and the one on the 1893-1916 version seen here is the head, which droops below the eagle on the earlier device, as if dying, and arches above it on the 1893-1916 version, as if fighting.

Condition: There is mild fading and there is a small bleach spot in the upper, hoist-end corner of the green register. There are tack marks at the top and bottom of the hoist binding and there is extremely minor staining on this and the ties.

Mounting: The pennant was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by masters degree trained staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples; more than anyone worldwide.

The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. 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.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1910
Latest Date of Origin: 1920
State/Affiliation: Other
War Association: WW 1
Price: SOLD

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