Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 47" x 36.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 35" x 24.5"
38 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton. The stars are arranged rows of 7-6-6-6-6-7, which is typical of many examples, but this particular variation, with its attractive, persimmon red stripes and interesting star orientation is one that I have not before encountered. On first glance it appears as if the positioning is random, but on closer inspection one may note that there is order in what seem like chaos. The stars in the first and last rows are consecutively point-up, point-down throughout. In the center, the second row, the 4 stars in the middle are with one point up, while those flanking to either side are canted away in the 11:00 and 1:00 positions. The 5th row is the same, except that the 4 stars in the center are all with one point down. The two rows in the middle each have 3 stars with a point canted away from the center, toward 11:00 on one side and 1:00 on the other. This makes for an interesting visual arrangement and the large size of the stars, with respect to the available space, fills the canton and adds to the attractive presentation.

When tipped vertically, one may note that the configuration also displays a thoughtful and visually provocative order that is perhaps even more interesting. When attention is given to the positioning of the stars themselves, the design has a lot of movement. In addition, note how the configuration forms a neat box-within-a-box-within-a-box of stars.

Colorado became the 38th state on August 1st, 1876. This was the year of our nation’s 100-year anniversary of independence. Per the Third Flag Act of 1818, stars were not officially added until the 4th of July following a state's addition. For this reason, 37 was the official star count for the American flag in 1876. Flag-making was a competitive venture, however, and few flag-makers would have been continuing to produce 37 star flags when their competitors were making 38’s. It is for this reason that 38 and 13 stars (to represent the original 13 colonies) are more often seen at the Centennial International Exposition, the six-month long World’s Fair held in Philadelphia in honor of the event. Some flag-makers would have been adding a star for the 38th state even before it entered the Union, in the early part of 1876 or even prior. In fact, many makers of parade flags were actually producing 39 star flags, in hopeful anticipation of the addition of two more Western Territories instead of one. But the 39th state would not join the Union for another 13 years, when the Dakota Territory entered as two states on the same day. 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 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 flag has been placed in its correct vertical position with its canton in the upper left. The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. The black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed molding is Italian. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass. Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition: There are tack holes with rust stains and associated loss along the hoist end, where the flag was once affixed to its original wooden staff. Some of these stains repeat into the body of the flag, transferring while it was rolled for a period of time in storage. There is modest fading and there is modest soiling and staining, the most significant of which is along the hoist and fly ends. There are a few lateral tears with minor associated loss along the fly end. 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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