|38 star American national flag in an especially small and desirable size for the period (1876-889). The stars are arranged in staggered rows of 8-7-8-7-8. Note how their position varies, with all stars tilted with one point in either the 11:00 or 1:00 position, alternating from one row to the next. Because of the perceived similarity to staggered rows of dancers kicking one leg up in ordered sequence, in either one direction or the other, I sometimes refer to the arrangement as "dancing rows".
Adding much to the appeal of this flag is its tiny size when compared to others made for extended outdoor use prior to the 1890's. During the 19th century, flags with pieced and sewn construction (as opposed to printed) were typically eight feet long or larger. This is because they were important in their function as signals, meaning that they needed to be seen and recognized from a great distance. Even flags made for decorative purpose were generally very large by today�s standards. A small flag was six feet in length. Examples measuring five feet on the fly, like this example, are even more scarce. Production of flags smaller than this with sewn construction was near-to-non-existent, with the exception of infantry flank-markers and guidons, surviving examples of which are rare. Since the average 19th century sewn flag can be cumbersome to frame and display in an indoor setting, many collectors prefer printed parade flags and smaller sewn flags, like this one.
The 38th state, Colorado, received its statehood on August 1st, 1876. This was the year of our nation�s 100-year anniversary of independence. Although 37 was the official star count for the American flag in 1876, flag-making was a competitive venture, and no one wanted to be making 37 star flags when others were making 38�s. It is for this reason that 38 and 13 stars (to represent the original 13 colonies) are the two star counts most often seen at the Centennial International Exposition, the six-month long, World�s Fair, held in Philadelphia in honor of the event. The 38 star flag became official in 1877 and was generally used until the addition of the Dakotas in 1889.
Construction: The canton and stripes of the flag are made of wool bunting that has been pieced with treadle stitching. The stars of the flag are made of cotton and double-appliqu�d with a lineal treadle stitch. There is an open sleeve bound along the hoist made of heavy cotton twill. Holes at the top and bottom are evidence that ropes were threaded through these points at one time, either with or without some type of grommets. Flags with open sleeves did not employ grommets, so this was probably a later addition. Grommets were more conducive to use on land.
Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% silk organza on every seam an��d throughout the star field for support. It was then sewn to a background of 100% cotton twill, black in color, which was washed to remove excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to 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. |
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
||Phone: (717) 502-1281
||19th Century (1801-1900)|
||There is very minor mothing throughout and there are very minor losses and/or fraying and unraveling due to use. The flag was obviously flown, albeit for an obviously short period. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.|
||Frame: 43" x 67" Flag: 32" x 56.25"
||Other Inventory by this Dealer|
to view larger