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Many people are not aware that for the first 135 years of the existence of the American National flag, there was no official way to configure its stars. In 1912, that circumstance changed with an Executive Order of President William Howard Taft. Many designs were probably brought forth, but it is not clear if a list of them survives. Possibly they were lost, forgotten, or simply went unrecorded. Whatever the case may be, Wayne Whipple was one person among the interested artists who would proceed to solidify his name in history, designing and contracting flags to be made in what would later become known as the �Whipple� pattern. He distributed these small parade flags liberally in pursuit of his goal, which were printed on cotton or silk, taking them to rallies and mailing them to influential parties with many letters of solicitation. Today surviving examples are very rare and desired by collectors. Whipple wrote a book on the American flag in 1904, which prompted his interest in designing the first official star pattern. The star configuration that Whipple devised included 13 stars in the center to reflect the original 13 original colonies, arranged in a six-pointed Great Star or Star of David pattern. According to Whipple, this had no religious connotations, but instead was simply a logical way to display 13 stars in a star-shaped formation. The same arrangement can be seen on the back of the U.S. one dollar bill, as well as at the top of the Great Seal of the United States. Surrounding the Great Star was a wreath of 25 stars. These represent the number of additional states that had joined the Union by the time of the nation�s 100-year anniversary in 1876, and around this was a consecutive wreath of 10 stars. Whipple�s concept was that more stars could be easily added to this widely spaced outer wreath without changing the basic design, which was why he felt that it would be not only beautiful but functional as well. Whipple pattern parade flags exist in both cotton and silk. The cotton variety may have been made in 2 different sizes. Whipple also contracted for the manufacture of triangular, patriotic pennants with an oblong, oval version of his star pattern above red and white stripes that taper to a point. Only one Whipple pattern flag has thus far been discovered with pieced-and-sewn construction, which was presented to President Taft by Whipple in 1913, then returned to Whipple and descended through the Whipple family. According to personal letters that were written by Whipple, along with correspondence between Whipple, the White House, and the War Department, Presidents Roosevelt and Taft both approved of and endorsed Whipple�s design. Whipple befriended both men, yet campaigned with Roosevelt in 1912. When it came to the final selection of an official configuration, the War Department�s recommendations drove Taft to select the rectilinear pattern of 6 rows of 8 stars. Mounting: The solid walnut molding has a gilded liner and dates to the period between 1870 and 1890. 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 the same purpose. Spacers keep the textile away from the glass, which is U.V. protective.
Inventory Number:


Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
Contact   Jeff Bridgman Phone: (717) 502-1281
Period: 1st Half 20th Century (1901 -1949)
Date: 1909-1912
Origin: US
Condition: There is minor to moderate foxing and staining throughout, accompanied by minor to moderate fading. The great rarity of Whipple�s flags warrants almost any condition.
Measurements: Frame: 23.5" x 32" Flag: 14" x 23"
Inventory Other Inventory by this Dealer
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
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