Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags



  42 CANTED STARS, NEVER AN OFFICIAL STAR COUNT, 1889-1890, WASHINGTON STATEHOOD

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 26" x 34"
Flag Size (H x L): 15.75" x 24"
Description....:
42 CANTED STARS, NEVER AN OFFICIAL STAR COUNT, 1889-1890, WASHINGTON STATEHOOD:

42 star American parade flag, printed on cotton. Note how the stars, which are arranged in a rectilinear fashion, are canted at a uniform angle in the 11:00 position. This is a particularly unusual style among surviving 42 star examples.

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, 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, new 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 Independence Day 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. On many occasions, particularly in the last quarter of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century, flag-makers would speculate the number of states that were going to be added and add the stars before they were official. It was for this precise reason that 42 was never an official star count. 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 has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton, black in color, which was washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye, which was heat-treated for the same purpose. The mount was then placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: There is a small vertical tear in the last stripe near the hoist end and there is minor fraying along the lower edge of the stripe. There is very minor foxing and staining. 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
E-mail: Inquire
 

Views: 764