Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): 29.25" x 43.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 17.75" x 43.5"
Patriotic, parade flag banner, printed on cotton, made for the celebration of our nation’s 100th anniversary of independence. The imagery consists of a spread winged eagle carrying the Liberty Bell, with the date of “1776” above. In the mouth of the eagle is a red streamer with the familiar phrase “E Pluribus Unum” (out of many, one) and behind are six national flags, including those of France, Ireland, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States. Above are the words “Centennial Union.” Note, in particular, what appears to be a rare, snowflake medallion configuration of stars, present in the canton of the Stars & Stripes.

Cradling the central device is an array of 13 large, salmon red stars to commemorate the original 13 colonies. These are artfully arranged in a large “U” for “Union,” with a star in each corner. Flanking each side, in bold, black text, using a wide array of fonts, are patriotic phrases that read: “It Proclaimed Liberty in 1776.” on the left and “Let it Proclaim Peace and Unity in 1876.” to the right.

A blue border with 37 white stars surrounds the perimeter of the textile. These represent the 37 official stars on the American national flag in 1876. Most American flags produced in 1876 included a 38th for the state of Colorado, “the Centennial State,” which joined the Union on August 1st of that year. Some even added a 39th star, in hopeful anticipation of the addition of the Dakota Territory, which would not join the Union for another 13 years. Not wishing to be behind their competitors, very few elected to use the count of 37, in spite of the fact that this remained official until July 3rd, 1877.

One really curious fact is that this same banner is known in a vertically-oriented format with a swallowtail design, the border of which contains 38 stars. More than one flag-maker is known to have produced printed banners of this nature with starred borders, the center portions of which could be customized to include whatever was desired, such as a state seal, the name of a fraternal organization, the portrait of a president, etc.. It seems likely that the 37 star bordered template used for this particular design existed prior to the flag-maker’s creation of the centennial text and imagery. This textile was probably made by the American Flag Company in New York City, is more colorful than any other styles that I have seen and more elaborate. It is likewise one of the few styles that was not related to a particular organization, state, or politician, and was instead merely patriotic.

Below and to the left of the French flag, the word “copyrighted” appears in parenthesis. It is of interest to note that all of the known examples, both vertical and horizontal, have red stars, save one of the horizontal examples that instead displays them in the same yellow employed in the printing of the bell and the surrounding flags.

Mounting: The banner has been 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 colorfastness. The black-painted and hand-gilded molding, with its wide, shaped profile, is Italian. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic (Plexiglas). Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition: There are tack holes in the wide expanse of white fabric along the hoist, where the flag was once affixed to its original wooden staff. There are various tears, small tears, and losses around the perimeter, primarily in the white portion beyond the starred border. A couple of these continue from the top edge into the border and then the body of the flag, one extending to about 3.5 inches and another through about 4/5 of the way down. There is a very minor hole between these. There is modest to moderate water staining and soiling throughout, accompanied by moderate to significant of the same toward the hoist end. There is some fading and pigment loss in the blue border. The great scarcity of this textile, along with the strength of its graphics, well warrant its condition issues. The flag presents beautifully.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 37
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1876
War Association:
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281

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