|13 STARS IN A MEDALLION PATTERN ON AN ANTIQUE AMERICAN PARADE FLAG, MADE FOR THE 1876 CENTENNIAL OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE; A SCARCE EXAMPLE AMONG ITS COUNTERPARTS, WITH NICE FOLK QUALITIES
|Frame Size (H x L):||11.5" x 10"|
|Flag Size (H x L):||5.5" x 4"|
|13 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton. The stars are arranged in a medallion that consists of a large center star, surrounded by a wreath of eight stars, with a flanking star in each corner of the blue canton. This was a popular design at the time of the 100-year anniversary of our nation’s independence in 1876 and this flag was probably made for that purpose, but can also be seen on a much smaller number of flags made during the American Civil War (1861-65), and perhaps inbetween.
A variety of styles are known, with varying measurements and attributes, among which this one is scarce. Likely produced for the centennial specifically, while the size of the flag may seem small, it is actually larger than most of its counterparts with 13 stars that were made during this era. The crude nature of the block printing results in stars with varying shapes and with nice folk attributes, while the 'squarish' shape and subtle colors result in an endearing presentation.
13 star flags have been flown throughout our nation’s history for a variety of purposes. In addition to their use at the centennial, 13 star flag were hoisted at other patriotic events, including Lafayette’s visit in 1824-25, the sesquicentennial in 1926, and July 4th celebrations. They were displayed during the Civil War, to reference past struggles for American liberty and victory over oppression, and were used by 19th century politicians while campaigning for the same reason. The U.S. Navy used the 13 star count on small boats until 1916, because it was easier to discern fewer stars at a distance on a small flag. Commercial flag-makers mirrored this practice and some private ships flew 13 star flags during the same period as the Navy. The use of yachting ensigns with a wreath of 13 stars surrounding a fouled anchor, which allowed pleasure boats to bypass customs between 1848 and 1980, persists today without an official purpose.
Any American national flag that has previously been official, remains so today according to the flag acts, so 13 star flags were, and still are, official flags of the United States.
Mounting: The flag was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples.
The beveled profile molding dates to the period between 1840 and 1860 and is thus earlier than the flag itself. This retains its original, tomato red painted surface. The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass. Feel free to inquire for more details.
Condition: There is minor fading of the red stripe and there is modest soiling in the striped field. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
|Collector Level:||Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving|
|Flag Type:||Parade flag|
|Earliest Date of Origin:||1876|
|Latest Date of Origin:||1876|
|State/Affiliation:||13 Original Colonies|
|War Association:||1866-1890 Indian Wars|