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13 Star American national flag, either made in celebration of the nation�s centennial of independence in 1876 or for use on a small boat during the same period. The hand-sewn cotton stars are arranged in lineal rows in counts of 3-2-3-2-3. In most cases this arrangement can also be viewed as a diamond of stars, with a star in each corner and a star in the very center. This has sometimes been interpreted as a combination of the crosses of St. Andrew and St. George, which some experts feel could have been the design of the very first American flag, serving as a link between this star pattern and the British Union Jack.

A significant part of this flag�s appeal is its tiny size when compared to others with sewn construction that were made prior to the 1890�s. Today, in the 21st century, a flag measuring between three and five feet in length is common, but prior to the last decade of the 19th century, this flag is extremely small when compared to its counterparts. Printed parade flags were generally three feet long or smaller, but flags with sewn construction were generally between eight and twenty feet in length. This is because flags needed to be seen from a distance to be effective in their purpose as signals. Today�s use of the Stars & Stripes is more often decorative the general display of patriotism. In the 19th century, however, even those flags made for decorative purpose were often huge by today�s standards. Because the average 19th century sewn flag is difficult to frame and display in an indoor setting, most collectors prefer printed flags and smaller sewn flags, like this one.

The stars of the flag are hand-sewn, made of cotton and are double-appliqu�d (applied to both sides of the flag), while the canton and the stripes are made of wool bunting, joined with treadle stitching. There is a twill cotton sleeve with two hand-made brass grommets. This manner of construction is very typical of the 1876 era. By this time most all stripes were treadle-sewn, yet stars were often still appliqu�d by hand.

13 star flags have been used throughout our Nation's history for a variety of purposes. The U.S. Navy flew 13 star flags on small boats, not only in the 18th century, but throughout most or all of the 19th century, particularly the second half. This practice effectively ended in 1916 with an executive order of then-President Woodrow Wilson. In addition to their use during the 1876 centennial and on small Navy boats, they were displayed in celebration of Lafayette�s final visit to the U.S. in 1825-26, were carried by soldiers during the Mexican and Civil Wars, and were made to commemorate American independence on other patriotic occasions, such as the nation�s sesquicentennial in 1926. Beginning around 1890, 13 star flags were commonly flown by the owners of private yachts. By this time, however, most all flags were mass-produced with machine stitching of the stars.

Mounting: the flag has been hand-stitched to 100% natural fabric for support on every seam. The flag was then hand-sewn to a background of 100% cotton twill, black in color. The cotton 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 the same purpose. The flag was then placed in a contemporary, French-made, gilded molding of the highest quality. The front is U.V. protective acrylic.

Condition: There is minor, scattered mothing and very minor losses. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Inventory Number:


Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
Contact   Jeff Bridgman Phone: (717) 502-1281
Period: 19th Century (1801-1900)
Date: 1876 Centennial Era
Origin: American
Condition: see description
Measurements: flag: 30" x 44.5", frame: 41" x 54.75"
Inventory Other Inventory by this Dealer
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
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