|34 star American national parade flag, printed on cotton, made for the 1864 campaign of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Unlike some advertising flags, which were overprinted with the names of candidates in black ink, the blue text on this flag was printed contemporaneously with its rich, chromium blue canton. The stars are arranged in a fanciful, circular medallion. This consists of a large center star, surrounded by two wreaths of stars, with a large flanking star (slightly smaller than one in the center) in each corner.
Though the text simply reads: �LINCOLN AND JOHNSON�, it is the huge size of the flag among known examples, accompanied by its striking color, that set it apart from most other known Lincoln campaign flags.
While all Lincoln-related parade flags are highly sought after, and are collectively the most valuable of all printed flags known to exist, those made for the 1864 campaign of Lincoln & Johnson are of particular interest. There are two primary reasons why. For one, flags from the second election are more scarce. Although Lincoln felt unlikely to be re-elected in the early part of 1864, as the year proceeded there were significant Union victories and the success of the incumbent president was solidified. In addition, less time and resources were available during wartime to focus on campaign accessories. In fact, it is interesting to note that of those Lincoln-Johnson flags that do exist, some were actually recycled from the 1860 campaigns of his opponents by way of applying Lincoln�s name over top on a length of cloth or paper. Such frivolity was not seen in 1860.
The other reason Lincoln & Johnson flags are more interesting is because Johnson became president following Lincoln's assassination. Johnson saw the nation through the beginning of Reconstruction and played a more significant role in American history than Hannibal Hamlin. Lincoln & Johnson flags therefore have the advantage of featuring the names of two American presidents instead of one. Assuming all other factors are equal (graphics, text, size, etc.), the presence of the Johnson name is superior to Hamlin.
Kansas was admitted into the Union as the 34th state on January 29th, 1861, about 2 � months before the Confederate assault on Fort Sumter that marked the beginning of the Civil War. The 34th star was officially added on July 4th of that year, but most flag makers would have added a 34th star with the addition of Kansas in January. The star count remained official until July 4th, 1863, and 34 star flags would have been produced until the addition of West Virginia in June of that year.
Mounting: The exceptional, substantial, gilded frame dates to the period between 1820 and 1850. The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton, black in color, which has been washed and treated to reduce excess pigment. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the pigment and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. The front is U.V. protective Plexiglas. |
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
||Phone: (717) 502-1281
||19th Century (1801-1900)|
||There is minor overall foxing throughout. There are a number of obvious areas with minor fabric loss and breakdown. The flag presents beautifully. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age gracefully, as this one does. Further, the great rarity and desirability of Lincoln campaign flags warrants any condition.|
||Frame: 33.75" x 43" Flag: 23" x 32"
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