Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 35" x 46.25"
Flag Size (H x L): 23.75" x 36"
38 star American parade flag, block-printed by hand on coarse, glazed cotton. The stars are arranged in a triple-wreath form of the medallion configuration, with a single center star and two stars flanking outside the basic pattern toward the fly end. Typically there are 4 flanking stars outside this type of pattern, one in each corner. The inclusion of only two was done intentionally to leave room for the easy addition of two more states. Flag-makers felt that more Western Territories were soon to be added to the Union and eagerly anticipated their arrival.

Note how striking color of the stripes contrasts pleasantly with the blue canton. Many cotton parade flags produced between 1850 and the 38 star period have shades of red that lean strongly toward orange.

Also known as hand-wavers, most parade flags measured three feet long or less. Larger examples, such as this one, make a bold statement, especially those with dynamic star patterns.

Colorado became the 38th state on August 1st, 1876. This was the year of our nation’s centennial of independence from Great Britain. Although 37 was the official star count for the American flag in 1876, flag-making was a competitive venture, and no one wanted to be making 37 star flags when others were making 38’s. It is for this reason that 38 and 13 stars (to represent the original 13 colonies) are the two star counts most often seen at the Centennial International Exposition, the six-month long, World’s Fair event, held in honor of the anniversary, in Philadelphia. Some flag-makers were actually producing 39 star flags, in hopeful anticipation of the addition of another Western Territory. The 38 star flag became official on July 4th, 1877 and was generally used until the addition of the Dakotas in 1889.

Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to a background of 100% cotton twill, black in color, which was 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 three-part combination of moldings. The outer two have a very dark brown finish that is almost black, with subtle red highlights. These surround a gilded and distressed liner with a black inner lip. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic.

Condition: There are some small holes, accompanied by a 2.25 inch vertical tear with associated loss along the hoist end, where the flag was once attached to its original wooden staff. There is a 2.25” x 2.75” L-shaped tear and a vertical 1” tear at the end of the 1st white stripe and there is a small, U-shaped tear near the hoist end of the 6th red stripe, and there are a number of tiny holes elsewhere. There is moderate pigment loss in the blue canton. There is some light printing in the 2nd and 3rd red stripes, and there is some misprinting in the 5th, 6th and 7th red stripes, the latter three of which resulted from the fabric having been folded in the bottom, fly end corner. 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: Colorado
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire

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