Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags



  33 STARS, MEDALLION CONFIGURATION, PRE-CIVIL WAR THROUGH WAR PERIOD, 1859-1861

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 15.25" x12.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 8.5" x 5.75"
Description....:
33 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton. The stars are arranged in a double wreath pattern with a large center star and 4 flanking corner stars. Note how the arms of the stars have an exaggerated length and thus bear a very interesting folk quality. This is one of my favorite early parade examples because of the great visual impact in its design.

The 33rd state, Oregon, entered the Union on February 14th, 1859. The 33 star flag was official from 1859-1861, and was thus still the official flag when Ft. Sumter was fired upon, on April 12th of that year. This event marked the beginning of the Civil War and a 33 star flag was flying at Ft. Sumter during the attack. Because the 34th state, Kansas, had already acquired statehood on January 29th, 1861, flag makers knew that the 34 star flag would soon become official. For this reason, 33 star flags were not produced in great quantity for the war, which would last until 1865, and the 33 can be considered to be more of a pre-Civil war flag than a war-period flag. 33’s are considerably more rare than 34 and 35 star examples.

Flags made prior to the Civil War comprise less than one percent of 19th century flags that have survived into the 21st century. Prior to the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the Stars & Stripes was simply not used for most of the same purposes we employ it in today. Private individuals did not typically display the flag in their yards and on their porches. Parade flags didn't often fly from carriages and horses. Places of business rarely hung flags in their windows. Private use of the national flag rose swiftly during the patriotism that accompanied the Civil War, then exploded in 1876.

Even the military did not use the flag in a manner that most people might think. The primary purpose before the Civil War was to mark ships on the open seas. While the flag was used to mark some garrisons, the flags of ground troops were often limited to the flag of their own regiment and a Federal standard. Most people would be surprised to learn that the infantry wasn’t authorized to carry the Stars & Stripes until 1837. Even then it was neither required nor customary. It was not until the Civil War took place that most U.S. ground forces carried the national flag.

Mounting: The paint-decorated American molding dates to the period between 1830 and 1860 and so is period to the flag itself. The flag 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 moderate fading of the red-orange stripes. There is an area with small holes and associated loss in the canton, near the upper hoist-end corner. Fabric of similar coloration was placed behind this area for masking purposes. There is a small number of pinprick-sized holes elsewhere throughout. 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: 33
Earliest Date of Origin: 1859
Latest Date of Origin: 1861
State/Affiliation: Oregon
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

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