|36 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton. Overprinted in the second through the fifth stripes is black, overprinted text that advertises the 1868 presidential campaign of one of America's most beloved figures, General Ulysses S. Grant, with running mate Schuyler Colfax. Among known parade flags, those made for political campaigns with text or pictorial advertising are the most valuable. Within this group, the flags made for the most memorable historical figures, such as Lincoln and Grant, are highly sought after by collectors.
Also important to a flag�s value are its visual presentation and any peculiar elements within the design. In this regard, five things are worth noting on this example. One is the amount of space that the campaign text commands with respect to the overall size of the flag. Because the text is quite large, it creates quite a statement. This is augmented by two other factors, which include the diagonal placement of the word �for�, which actually overlaps slightly from the third white stripe into the canton, and the colors of the flag itself, which are tomato red and cornflower blue as opposed to a more traditional scarlet and navy. This is an attractive combination and helps to makes the overall visual presentation different from what one usually encounters. The punctuation of the verbiage also draws attention. With a period at the end of every line, the text seems to have escaped proper grammatical rules. This is actually typical of 19th century overprinted flags, which are not unlike early trade signs with their many similar eccentricities. And last, but not least are the stars themselves, the vertical position of which varies between 1:00 and 11:00 from one line to the next, tilting in one direction and then the other. The bold impact of the stars, which also vary in size from one to the next, lends a strong folk element to the overall design.
The 36th state, Nevada, gained statehood during the civil war in 1864. Makers of parade flags would have added a star to their flags at this time, but the 36 star flag did not become official until July 4th, 1865, after the war�s end. It was replaced by the 37 star flag in 1867. Note that a count of 36 therefore falls one star short of what was official in 1868. This is sometimes the case with political campaign flags, many of which often have a number of stars that is one or more behind what was official during the election year. Sometimes campaigning may have started before the election year, and at other times the star count probably wasn�t that important to the person ordering these small, printed flags. The purchaser may have sometimes been a campaign manager, but at other times have simply been a friend or political supporter who wished to make a classy display at his/her home or business, or along the campaign route.
Mounting: The gilded American molding dates to the period between 1840 and 1870. The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton, black in color, which was washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for same purpose. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass. |
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
||Phone: (717) 502-1281
||19th Century (1801-1900)|
||There is minor age toning, a couple of minor holes and very minor fraying around the perimeter, accompanied by minor staining along the hoist and a scattering of small dark stains. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use. Further, the flag presents beautifully and this is an especially rare and desirable example of the period.|
||Frame: 13.25" x 15.25" Flag: 5" x 7.75
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