|44 star American National flag; one of only four known examples where the stars are carefully configured into the letters �U.S.�. I have owned three of these four. A patent was issued for the design to W. R. Washburn on August 12th, 1890, and the patent date is printed with a black stencil along the hoist. Washburn�s drawing that accompanied the pattern actually assigned a state to each star. Texas is represented by the period after the letter �U� and California by the one after the letter �S�. New York is near the top of the �U�.
Only four designs are known to exist among early flags in which the stars are oriented into letters or numeric characters. This is the largest of the styles and the bold impact of the flag places it firmly among the best of all known examples. While none of the flags in this format has yet been documented in any text, a reference to the exact pattern appears on a printed paper souvenir that was produced for the 1893 World Columbian Exposition (Chicago World�s Fair). It may be that the design was produced by Washburn specifically for the World�s Fair.
The stars of the flag are made of heavy grade, felted wool, which is highly unusual. I have seen this fabric used on 20th century examples on rare occasion, but never in a 19th century flag. The stars are double-appliqu�d (applied to both sides) with treadle stitching. The canton and stripes of the flag are constructed of treadle-sewn wool bunting, and there is a wide canvas sleeve, through which a looped, braided hemp rope was threaded and sewn into place.
The name �C.F. Allen� is written twice along the hoist in a dip pen, in both instances more fancifully than usual. It was common to mark flags in this manner during the 19th century and this would represent the name of a former owner.
The 44th state, Wyoming, gained its statehood on July 10th, 1890. The 44 star flag was official from 1891-1986.
Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% silk organza for support throughout. It was then hand-stitched to a background of black cotton twill, 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 the same purpose. A custom, supportive strainer was made to support the mount. 2" square aluminum tubing was used so that the mount would retain its shape. It is ready to frame in this state, or can be left as-is. |
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
||Phone: (717) 502-1281 or (717) 676-0545
||19th Century (1801-1900)|
||Condition: There is a moderate hole in the canton. Fabric of similar coloration was placed behind this area during the mounting process for masking purposes. There is very minor mothing throughout, accompanied by a couple of tiny and very minor stains.|
||Frame Size: 78.5" x 123" Flag Size: 72" x 116.5"
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