Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 78.25" x 40"
Flag Size (H x L): 68" x 27.5"
13 star, patriotic, vertical hanging banner, probably made for the 1876 centennial of American independence. The stars are arranged in a circular wreath of 12 surrounding a single center star. These are made of metallic bullion cord and sequins, that were first applied to paper and then to the flag. The Prussian blue canton and the 13 vertical pales (stripes) are all made of satin silk. These were pieced with treadle stitching. Fringed with gold silk or polished cotton cord, the lower edge is finished in a slight arch. The back is finished in polished cotton, tan in color.

If one examines images from the latter half of the 19th century, many patriotic textiles of all kinds can be seen in views of buildings along the main streets of many American towns and cities. Some were so elaborately festooned with banners and bunting that it there might be 20-30 pieces adorning just one structure. What's remarkable, as it pertains to this discussion, is how few of these have survived into the 21st century. They are occasionally encountered, but are seldom as intact as this example and the tiny fraction of them that survives today is in no way representative of the thousands upon thousands that once existed.

This particular example is notable for its attractive presentation. Long and narrow, and with attractive colors, it is reminiscent of another formerly in the collection of Boleslaw and Marie D'Otrange Mastai. The Mastais were the first major collectors of flags to publish a book on the subject of flag collecting. Their example is published in “The Stars and the Stripes” by Mastai, (1973, Knopf, New York), and prominently appears on page 182. It has a small eagle in the center of a wreath of 13 bullion stars, but the lower edge is finished in a similar concave profile and the overall design is so similar that one has to pay close attention to the details to discern one from the other.

Because there was no official star configuration for the American national flag until 1912, the stars on 13 star flags may appear in any one of a host of configurations, some of which are more rare and desirable than others. This basic configuration, whether oval or circular, has come to be known as the "3rd Maryland Pattern". The design is very desirable due to both its visual attractiveness and the scarcity of its use. The name comes from a flag that resides at the Maryland State Capitol in Annapolis, long thought to have been present with General Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens in 1781. According to legend, the flag was supposedly carried by Color Sergeant William Batchelor of the Maryland Light Infantry and was donated to the State of Maryland by Batchelor's descendents. The story was disproved in the 1970's, however, following an examination by the late flag expert Grace Rogers Cooper of the Smithsonian, who discovered that the Cowpens flag was, at the earliest, of Mexican War origin (1846-48).

Among flag collectors and enthusiasts, however, the name "3rd Maryland" stuck to the design. A similar flag, in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of History & Technology, was carried by the Maryland and District of Columbia Battalion of Volunteers during the Mexican War. So the name does have known applicability to another Maryland regiment.

Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton twill, ivory in color. The mount was then placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass.

Condition: There are moderate losses in the bullion stars and some breakdown of the paper backings. There are minor holes along the top edge, where the banner was once affixed to a staff. There are separations and losses in the blue canton, the most significant of which are along the left edge. There is a darning repair to a small hole in the center, just above the topmost stars. There are moderate to significant splits in the striped field, especially along the lower edge. All of the above was addressed accordingly during the mounting process. Fabric of similar coloration was inserted between the face of the banner and the backing to underlay some of the affected areas for masking purposes. Both reversible archival adhesive and stitching were used to stabilize the textile. There is minor staining and oxidation throughout. many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: 13
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1890
State/Affiliation: 13 Original Colonies
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire

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