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  39 CANTED STARS ON A TALL AND NARROW, ROYAL BLUE CANTON, AN 1876 VARIETY REPRESENTING THE ANTICIPATION OF THE ADDITION OF THE DAKOTA AND COLORADO TERRITORIES, NEVER ACCURATE OR OFFICIAL

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 17.75" x 21.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 8.25" x 12"
Description....:
39 star American national parade flag, printed on plain weave cotton. The stars are arranged in linear rows of 7-6-7-6-7-6. When viewed on the obverse (front), each star is canted just slightly to the left of being upright, so that the first star is oriented with one point facing at approximately 11:30, then the next at 11:00, alternating in this slight fashion back-and-forth across each row.

Note the brilliant, royal blue coloration of the canton, which is actually slightly taller than it is wide. In addition to the unusual positions of the stars, these traits add a great deal to the flag’s presentation, the condition of which is remarkable for the period.

This particular flag was made between 1875 and 1876, in preparation for the centennial of American independence. At this time the 37 star count was official, but some flag-makers were adding stars to the flag in anticipation of the addition of the Colorado and Dakota and Territories. Only one of these, Colorado, was added (on August 1st, 1876), which brought the star count to 38. This meant that the 39 star flags being produced at that time were soon defunct.

39 star flags were actually produced again, in 1889, and possibly a bit before that, when the anticipation of the addition of the Dakota Territory once again loomed on the horizon. On November 2nd of 1889, the Dakotas came in as two different states (North & South), which forever rendered 39 star flags both inaccurate and unofficial.

Flag-makers may have theoretically saved the 1876 print blocks they had been using to produce 39 star flags at that time, bringing them out again to be used in 1889. It is also possible that some 39 star flags may have remained in the stock rooms of flag-makers and dry goods stores for more than a decade. Several varieties of 39 star flags exist. Because this particular style is known to have been incorporated into quilts that were made to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of American independence, logic suggests that this flag is an 1876 variant. Whatever the case may be, the existence of 39 star flags is a classic display of both American capitalism and expansionist ideals for the growth of our nation.

Mounting: The antique, solid walnut molding dates to the same period as the flag, has ebonized trim, and retains its original gilded liner. The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton, black in color, that was washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: Excellent.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 39
Earliest Date of Origin: 1875
Latest Date of Origin: 1876
State/Affiliation: North Dakota
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

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