Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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48 STARS CONFIGURED INTO THE LETTERS “U.S.A.”, COPYRIGHTED IN 1916 BY C.A. HARTMAN, ONE OF ONLY FOUR KNOWN SURVIVING EXAMPLES AND ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING DESIGNS KNOWN TO EXIST IN EARLY FLAGS

Web ID: 48j-1014
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): 57.5" x 84"
Flag Size (H x L): 43.75" x 71.5"
 
Description:
48 star American national flag; one of only four known examples where the stars are carefully configured into the letters “USA”, flanked above and below by widely spaced rows of 4 stars, and with a single star as a period after the letter "A" . Note how the cross bar of the "A" is pitched at an angle, which adds a degree of whimsy to this wonderful design.

Only three other examples of this flag are presently known to have survived. This particular example is inscribed along the hoist with a dip pen: "Copyright 1916 G. A. Hartman". Another one of the known examples has similar text that reads "Copyrighted 1916. By G A Hartman," also hand-inscribed. Another is ink-stamped or stenciled with “© 1916 G. A. Hartman," and the fourth is unmarked. One of these has an applied label that reads “Republic.” This was a brand name of the Annin Company, who was probably the maker of all four examples. Annin’s use of labels was very inconsistent and obviously depended heavily on the particular woman who was constructing any given flag. Annin is our nation's eldest flag-maker that is still in business today. The company was founded in the 1830's, incorporated in 1847, and was located in New York City until the 1960’s, when it moved to Verona, New Jersey.

Flags with stars that spell out numeric or alphabetical characters are among the rarest of all designs. Only three other styles are currently known to have been commercially manufactured. One, with 44 stars, displays stars that form the letters U.S.. Another, which comes in both the 35 and 36 star counts, was made during the Civil War and has stars that spell the word “Free.” The last variety was made for the centennial of American independence and has stars the form the dates “1776” and “1876.”

The striking impact of this pattern places it firmly among the best of all known examples. I have been privileged to own three of the four “U.S.A.” flags, none of which has yet been documented in any text. All are in private hands.

The stars of the flag are made of cotton and are double-appliquéd (applied to both sides) to the canton with a zigzag machine stitch. The canton and the red stripes are constructed of lightweight cotton bunting, while the white stripes are constructed of looser weave cotton. These elements are joined with a lineal machine stitch. There is a heavy, twill cotton binding along the hoist, with two brass grommets. Along this, in addition to the copyright text, "46" is stamped in red ink. This is a misprint and was actually intended to read “4 x 6” to indicate size in feet. Another flag of this exact type has the marking successfully rendered.

The 48 star flag became official in 1912 and remained so until the addition of the 49th state in 1959. The date of 1916 places the copyright immediately prior to U.S. involvement in WWI (1917-18).

Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton twill, 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, which was heat-treated for the same purpose. The mount was then placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding with a substantial ogee profile. The glazing is U.V. protective Plexiglas.

Condition: There is some very minor staining, but the overall condition is remarkable.
   
Collector Level: Flags for the truest Patriots. My best offerings
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: 48
Earliest Date of Origin: 1916
Latest Date of Origin: 1916
State/Affiliation: Arizona
War Association: WW 1
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com


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