Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags



  34 STAR CIVIL WAR RECRUITING FLAG MADE UNDER MILITARY CONTRACT BY JAMES SEBRING IN NEW YORK CITY, 1861 OR 1862

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Unframed
Flag Size (H x L): 42.5" x 111.5"
Description....:
34 star American national flag with rare maker’s mark. It is extremely unusual to know definitively who made a Civil War period flag, because they are so rarely marked or documented. “J.E. Sebring Agt. Maker / 27 Courtlandt St. N.Y.” is stenciled on sleeve of this flag, which has retained unusually vibrant color. Sebring had government contracts to make military flags.

The exaggerated length of the field of stripes beyond the canton is unusual. This allowed for the flag to be folded in a 3-D fashion during the mounting process, both to reduce its 9-foot plus length and add visual dimension to the presentation. The hand-sewn cotton muslin stars are double-appliquéd, meaning that they are sewn to both sides of the navy blue canton. They are configured in rows that form the shape of a broad hourglass. Note how the rows dip and rise, however, in a serpentine fashion, which adds a whimsical aspect to the design. Also note how the stars are uniformly tilted in the 11:00 position on their vertical axis, with the exception of the last star in the last row, which is nearer to 12:00.

The stripes and canton are made of wool bunting and are treadle-sewn. The canton is pieced from two lengths of bunting, due to the fact that the widest length that blue bunting came in was 18”. The linen sleeve has a wonderful, golden brown oxidized color and there are two brass grommets for hoisting.

The following information is taken from "A Directory of American Military Goods Dealers & Makers 1785-1915 (Combined Edition)" by Bruce S. Bazelon and William F. McGuinn, 1999, p. 239-240:

"James E. Sebring, 27 Cortland St., NYC. First R.G. Dun listing of Dec. 1863 noted him as having failed in Fillmore County, Minn., in 1857 and commenced business in NY in May 1862 as "agent" as a result of old debts due to his failure. Listed as Agent from 1864-66 and advertised (at the) same time as National Flag Depot (silk flags and banners) in the Army-Navy Journal Sept 24, Nov. 5th and Dec. 10th, 1864. Had contracts for 1,600 medical flags, 200 recruiting flags in 1861. Listed as agent (flags) in 1866 (R G Dun, NY). He had a contract on Jan. 28, 1864 for 600 general and field hospital flags and 1,000 ambulance flags. He also advertised in the 1863 Patterson, NJ, City Directory as agent and flag maker (at 27 Cortland St., NYC).

His Civil War contracts included: 1,000 recruiting flags 8/26 1862; 150 garrison flags (9/17 1862);......400 post and field flags (1/28 1864); 150 garrison colors (Feb. 1864 and Feb 1865); 800 recruiting flags (Jan-Aug 1864) and 500 (more) (9/24 1863)."

Note that R. G. Dun is the predecessor to Dun and Bradstreet. These records are kept at Brown University. Bazelon (now a curator at the Harrisburg State Museum) & McGuinn cross reference R.G. Dun information with government purchase orders.

Kansas was admitted into the Union as the 34th state on January 29th, 1861, about 2 ½ months before the Confederate assault on Fort Sumter that marked the beginning of the Civil War. The 34th star was officially added on July 4th of that year, but most flag makers would have added a 34th star with the addition of Kansas in January. The star count remained official until July 4th, 1863, and 34 star flags would have been produced until the addition of West Virginia in June of that year.

Mounting: The flag has not yet been mounted. We employ professional staff with masters degrees in textile conservation and can attend to all of your mounting and framing needs.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: 34
Earliest Date of Origin: 1861
Latest Date of Origin: 1862
State/Affiliation: Kansas
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

Views: 679