Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 30.25" x 39.75"
Flag Size (H x L): 19.5" x 29"
35 star American national parade flag, printed on cotton and bearing a beautiful medallion configuration that has a huge, haloed center star. This is one of the boldest, wreath pattern, Civil War era designs and is in a rather large and highly desirable size among printed flags. In addition to these facts, there are far more parade flags known in the 34 star count, which was used during the opening two years of the war, than in the 35 star count, which became official in July of 1863. Although 35 remained the official star count until July 4th, 1865, following the war’s end, most flag making, especially that which was not under military contract, would have included a 36th star upon the addition of Nevada on October 31st, 1864. This means that 35 star flags were realistically produced for less than a year-and-a-half. Scarcity is thus one reason why 35 star parade flags are so interesting, and another is the fact that they are often larger and more visual, with elaborate star configurations.

Although the maker that produced these flags is unknown, parade flags with a haloed center star exist in at least five other star counts including 30, 31, 34, 35, 36, and 42. Two examples also exist, probably from different makers, that bear 13 stars. One dates to 1856 and was made for the presidential campaign of James Buchanan. Another style, printed on a wool and cotton blended fabric, dates to the 1876 centennial and all of its 13 stars have halos.

Most of the known flags in this exact version were printed with different pigment, so that the stripes are orange in color. Many parade flags produced between 1850 and the 38 star period (1876-1889) share this feature, with stripes that are significantly more orange than red. This flag is an exception to the rule among surviving examples of 35 star, haloed center star medallions, because the stripes are, in fact, red. The shade of blue in the canton is likewise different. Most examples of this style have dark, navy blue coloration, where this one is a medium shade of cornflower blue that creates striking contrast with the red stripes.

In summary, this is both a beautiful and desirable example of the Civil War period with attractive colors and a whimsical presentation of stars.

Mounting: The flag has been stitched to 100% cotton, black in color, which was washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added o the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. The mount was then placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic.

Condition: There is minor to moderate foxing and staining, particularly in the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th white stripes and in the upper, hoist-end corner of the canton. There are tack holes along the hoist where the flag was once affixed to its original wooden staff and there are minor tears and loss at the top and bottom corners of the hoist end. There are some splits in the canton with minor associated loss, accompanied by a small nick long the top edge. There is a small nick along the bottom stripe near the fly end and there are a couple of pinprick-sized holes elsewhere. 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: Parade flag
Star Count: 35
Earliest Date of Origin: 1863
Latest Date of Origin: 1865
State/Affiliation: West Virginia
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD

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