Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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  42 STARS ON AN ANTIQUE AMERICAN FLAG WITH A WAVE CONFIGURATION OF LINEAL COLUMNS, AN UNOFFICIAL STAR COUNT THAT REFLECTS THE ADDITION OF WASHINGTON STATE, MONTANA, AND THE DAKOTAS, circa 1889-1890

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 29.75" x 35.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 18.25" x 24.25"
Description....:
42 star American parade flag, printed on cotton. The stars are arranged in what is called a “wave” configuration. Note how these stars are placed in columns, which are slightly offset at alternating heights.

The 42 star flag is interesting from a historical perspective, both because 42 was never an official star count, and because 42 star flags were only produced for about 8 months (November, 1889 – July 4th, 1890). The flag represents the addition of the Dakotas, Montana, and Washington State, between November 2nd and November 11th, 1889. The 42nd state was officially Washington, but the four states gained their statehood only nine days apart, and flag makers added 4 stars, accordingly, to the count of 38 that was official at the time.

After 1818, star counts became official on the 4th of July each year. A new star was therefore officially added on Independence Day for every state that had been added over the preceding “flag year”. Flag makers, however, did not wait for July 4th and official star counts. Flag making was a competitive industry and no one wanted to be making 38 star flags, for example, when their competitors were making 42 star flags and there were 42 states. Idaho received statehood on July 3rd, 1890, taking the star count to 43 just one day before 42 would have become the official number. This fact makes 42 star flags an interesting part of our heritage and a classic display of American capitalism.

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, that has been washed and treated for color fastness. The substantial, contemporary burled molding has a convex profile and a Ralph Lauren sensibility, with a worn surface that is reminiscent of old leather. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass. Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition: There are extremely minor tears at the beginning of the 5th and 6th red stripe, and a few pinprick-sized tack holes elsewhere along the hoist end. There is moderate soiling in the last three stars in the first row, accompanied by minor of the same elsewhere in the canton. There is minor to modest soiling in the white stripes, with modest to moderate of the same in the 4th and 5th white stripes. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 42
Earliest Date of Origin: 1889
Latest Date of Origin: 1890
State/Affiliation: Washington
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
 

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