Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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  37 STARS, MEDALLION CONFIGURATION, 1867-1876, NEBRASKA STATEHOOD

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 14.5" x 17.75"
Flag Size (H x L): 5.75" x 9"
Description....:
37 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton. The stars are arranged in a beautiful medallion that consists of three sizes of stars. There is a large center star, surrounded by two wreaths of much smaller stars, with stars of an intermediate size flanking in each corner of the blue canton. Note how the relatively crude block printing of the stars lends a nice level of folk quality to its presentation.

The medallion configuration is rare in 37 star flags. I know of only two varieties of printed parade flags with this type of star formation and circular patterns are seldom seen in pieced-and-sewn flags of this period.

The 37th state, Nebraska, joined the Union on March 1st, 1867. The 37 star flag was official from that year until 1877, although it generally fell out of use in 1876 with the addition of Colorado. The 37 star-count is scarce in comparison to the flags that immediately preceded and followed it. This is due primarily to the lack of major patriotic events during the period they were generally used, which followed the Civil War yet preceded the 100-year anniversary of our nation's independence. While the 37 star flag was still official in 1876, it was well known that at least one more state would be joining the Union that year. This caused flag makers to cease production in favor of 38 and 39 star flags. For this reason, 37 star flags were seldom produced for our nation's centennial, where 38 and 39 star counts were preferred, along with 13 star examples to commemorate the original 13 colonies. Even so, some 37 star flags survive with hand-inscribed or embroidered dates that were evidently used in the fanfare of our nation's 100-year anniversary. And I have long presumed that some of those with more whimsical star configurations, such as this flag, were produced specifically for that purpose.

Mounting: The solid walnut molding retains its original gilded liner and dates to the same general era as the flag (1860-1890). The flag has been stitched to 100% cotton, black in color, which has been 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. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: There was some misprinting of both the red and blue pigments during the block-printing process. This is more of a plus than a minus, however, due to the fact that it increases its hand-made qualities and in such a way as to positively impact the flag’s appearance. 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: 37
Earliest Date of Origin: 1867
Latest Date of Origin: 1876
State/Affiliation: Nebraska
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

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