Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 32.25" x 46.25"
Flag Size (H x L): 21.5" x 38"
38 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton. Note how the stars are arranged in justified rows of 7-6-6-6-6-7 and are oriented in a variety of positions on their vertical axis. The combination of different numbers of stars in the rows and differing positions results in a lot of visual movement, lending a nice folk quality to the overall design. The fact that the stars are quite large with respect to the amount of space they fill also contributes to the presentation, as does the contrast of the chrome orange stripes against the white and indigo blue. The flag has much soiling, fading and pigment loss from extended use and presents beautifully because of it.

Colorado became the 38th state on August 1st, 1876. This was the year of our nation’s 100-year anniversary of independence. Per the Third Flag Act of 1818, stars were not officially added until the 4th of July following a state's addition. For this reason, 37 was the official star count for the American flag in 1876. Flag-making was a competitive venture, however, and few flag-makers would have been continuing to produce 37 star flags when their competitors were making 38’s. It is for this reason that 38 and 13 stars (to represent the original 13 colonies) are more often seen at the Centennial International Exposition, the six-month long World’s Fair held in Philadelphia in honor of the event. Some flag-makers would have been adding a star for the 38th state even before it entered the Union, in the early part of 1876 or even prior. In fact, many makers of parade flags were actually producing 39 star flags, in hopeful anticipation of the addition of two more Western Territories instead of one. But the 39th state would not join the Union for another 13 years, when the Dakota Territory entered as two states on the same day. The 38 star flag became official on July 4th, 1877 and was generally used until the addition of the Dakotas in 1889.

President Ulysses S. Grant was in office when the first 38 star flags would have appeared. The list of presidents serving during the period when the 38 star flag was actually official include Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, and Benjamin Harrison.

Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton, black in color, that has been 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. The mount was then placed in a substantial, black-painted, Italian molding of excellent quality, to which a black-painted, silver gilded and distressed liner was added. The glazing is U.V. protective Plexiglas.

Condition: There is moderate fading and pigment loss in the stripe field, particularly toward the fly end. There is moderate soiling throughout. There are vertical separations along the hoist, where the flag was affixed to its original wooden staff, and a separation in the stripe field with associated loss toward the fly end, running vertical through the bottom 4 stripes, along with a smaller one adjacent in the 5th white stripe. There are very minor losses elsewhere. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 38
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1889
State/Affiliation: Connecticut
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire

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