|13 STARS IN A MEDALLION CONFIGURATION ON A LARGE SCALE PARADE FLAG MADE FOR THE 1876 CENTENNIAL:
13 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton, made for the 1876 celebration of our nation’s 100-year anniversary of independence. The stars are arranged in a medallion that consists of a large center star, surrounded by a wreath of eight stars, with a flanking star in each corner of the navy blue canton. Note the irregular shape of the stars that resulted from the crude manner of printing, which adds a charming element to the flag's presentation.
While the size might seem small, this is actually one of the larger varieties of centennial parade flags with 13 stars, almost all of which are tiny when compared to most that bear the full star count during the same period. Generally speaking, the larger examples are more scarce and the greater impact that they present over their smaller counterparts makes them more desirable.
13 star flags have been flown throughout our nation’s history for a variety of purposes. They were hoisted at patriotic events, including Lafayette’s visit in 1825-26, the celebration of the nation's centennial in 1876, and the sesquicentennial in 1926. They were displayed during the Civil War, to reference past struggles for American liberty and victory over oppression, and were used by 19th century politicians in political campaigning for the same reason. The U.S. Navy used the 13 star count on small boats until 1916, because it was easier to discern fewer stars at a distance on a small flag. Commercial flag-makers mirrored this practice and some private ships flew 13 star flags during the same period as the Navy. The use of yachting ensigns with a wreath of 13 stars surrounding an fouled anchor, which allowed pleasure boats to bypass customs between 1848 and 1980, persists today without an official purpose.
Mounting: The solid walnut molding has ebonized trim, retains its original gilded liner with resist decoration, and dates to the period between 1860 and 1880. The flag has been placed in its correct vertical position, with its canton in the upper left. It has been hand-stitched to 100% hemp fabric. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.
Condition: There is minor faxing and staining. There is moderate misprinting in the stars, but this adds a crude quality that contributes to the flag's appeal.