Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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  39 STARS IN TWO SIZES, ALTERNATING FROM ONE COLUMN TO THE NEXT, NEVER AN OFFICIAL STAR COUNT, 1875-76

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 28.5" x 35.75"
Flag Size (H x L): 17.25" x 25"
Description....:
39 star American parade flag, printed on cotton bunting. This is one of only three styles known that use stars in two different sizes to make columns of equal height, all of which occur in the 39 star count and were probably produced by the same maker. Note the "squarish" proportions of this particular example, which is on the large size among its counterparts and has striking blue color.

39 star flags were made at two different times in the late 19th century. The first were made in 1876 in anticipation of the addition of two new states. Only one of these was added (Colorado on August 1st), which brought the star count to 38. This meant that the 39 star flags made in this year were soon defunct. Thirteen years later, 39 star flags were made again with the anticipation of the addition of the Dakota Territory. 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.

In some cases, flag makers may have saved the 1876 print designs and used them again 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, to be brought out again when the actual addition of the 39th state once again loomed on the horizon. Based upon the fact that other examples with columns of stars in 2 sizes are known to have been incorporated into quilts made to celebrate our nation's 1876 centennial of independence, logic suggests that this flag is likewise of the earlier variety. In any event, 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 flag was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by masters degree trained staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples; more than anyone worldwide.

The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. The modern burled wood molding that has a Ralph Lauren sensibility, with a worn surface that is somewhat reminiscent of old leather. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass. Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition: There is moderate fading of the red dye throughout, though in an attractive manner, and there is minor foxing and staining. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count: 39
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1876
State/Affiliation: South Dakota
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

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