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  STARS & STRIPES PENNANT FROM THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON, AUGUST 28, 1963, WHEN MARTIN LUTHER KING DELIVERED HIS HISTORIC "I HAVE A DREAM" SPEECH

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 18.75" x 24.75"
Flag Size (H x L): 10" x 16"
Description....:
Stars & Stripes flags, banners and pennants, made during the 19th century, were sometimes adorned with interesting graphics and textual messages. This continued into the beginning of the 20th century, but dwindled quickly during the first quarter. After this time it is very unusual to find interesting adaptations of the American national flag, printed with patriotic and political messages, especially with aesthetics that seem to hail from the previous century.

This fantastic and rare political pennant was flown in tribute of what would soon be touted as one of the most galvanizing events in American civil rights history. It would have been raised and waved by an attendee on that landmark day, in August of 1963, in our nation's capitol, when Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

Printed on paper, the triangular design is comprised of a vertical blue bar, on which 42 stars surround the words that served as the mantra of the 1960's black rights movement, "We Shall Overcome". Joan Baez sung the folk song of the same name that day at the parade, written by Pete Seeger and others, to the crowd in attendance estimated between 200,000 and 300,000. The star count has no specific meaning, but is merely present to decorate the text and complete the flag-like image. The blue bar is followed by a field of 17 stripes--again with their number merely decorative--on which the following words appear in the same blue ink:

"I Marched for Equality in the Freedom Parade; August 28, 1963; Washington, D. C."

Officially the gathering the was titled "The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." Two blue stars follow in the last white stripe, for unknown purpose, possibly once again for artistic balance.

This rare object was, to the best of my knowledge, undocumented in text on the subjects of both flag and political memorabilia collecting until this particular example appeared in print in 2015. When I acquired the pennant I had seen just one other. Today at least three are known. One, in a private collection in Washington, D.C., was carried at the parade by a woman named Theresa Gehring and recollected in a story that she dictated to her son, documenting the day's events.

Provenance: This exact pennant is pictured twice in a book entitled "For Whom it Stands: The Flag and the American People" by Michelle Joan Wilkerson (2015, Reginald F. Lewis Museum for Maryland African American History and Culture), p. 22 and 61. The pennant was exhibited in Baltimore by the museum in a show by the same name from May 17, 2014 – February 28, 2015.

Mounting: The solid walnut frame retains its original varnished surface and dates to the Civil War era. This is a pressure mount between 100% cotton velvet and U.V. protective plexiglass.

Condition: The pennant was formerly framed, probably by the original owner, and it was folded at the top and bottom. There is pigment loss at the creases. Two punched holes allowed a wooden dowel to be inserted, which is an unusual method of affixing a staff. There are minor tears around the holes. The extreme tip at the fly end is slightly torn. There is minor soiling throughout. Because paper parade flags and pennants rarely survived, the state of preservation is expected and perfectly acceptable. Further, the extreme rarity warrants practically any condition.
Collector Level: Flags for the truest Patriots. My best offerings
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 44
Earliest Date of Origin: 1963
Latest Date of Origin: 1963
State/Affiliation: District of Columbia
War Association: Vietnam
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

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