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13 star American national flag of the type used by the U.S. Navy on small boats around the turn-of-the-century. I have owned many of these flags, made by the Navy at the Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York, but seldom are examples encountered with 13 stars that were made by the Navy at the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet at Mare Island, California, or at its far-flung outpost at Cavite in the Philippine Islands. The latter was the origin of this small scale Naval ensign. The fact that this flag has hand-sewn stars is a very nice feature. Flags being produced at the New York Navy Yard at this time were appliqu�d with a zigzag, machine stitch, as were most flags from by all commercial manufacturers. The old-world style of hand appliqu� is perhaps evidence of either the lack of a zigzag attachment at Cavite, or the lack of electricity where production was taking place, or simply a greater proficiency in performing appliqu� work by hand among the Philippine labor force that the Navy probably hired to produce its flags. By the same token, while the flags made at Mare Island and New York were stenciled with identification on the reverse side of their sleeves, the markings on this example were instead inscribed by hand with a dip pen. They read as follows: �U.S.E. [Ensign] No. 7, U.S. Naval Station, Cavite P.I. Feb. 28, 1902�. The stars are arranged in the 3-2-3-2-3 configuration, which is the most common design in 19th century flags with 13 stars. Note how this creates a secondary pattern that forms a diamond of stars with a star in each corner. It also mimics the St. Andrews and St. Georges crosses found on the British Union Jack. 13 star flags have been used throughout our Nation's history for a variety of purposes. In addition to their use on small Navy boats, they were displayed in celebration of Lafayette�s final visit to the U.S. in 1825-26, carried by soldiers during the Mexican and Civil Wars, and made to commemorate American independence during the Nation's centennial in 1876, the Sesquicentennial in 1926, and other patriotic occasions. Construction: The stars of the flag are made of cotton, hand-sewn, and double-appliqu�d. The coarse linen hoist has three, unusually large brass grommets. Each grommet reads: �Pat�d Aug. 26, 1884, No. 3�. No. �0� grommets, which are significantly smaller, are usually seen on larger flags, so the presence of such large grommets on such a small flag probably represents use of whatever stock was available. The presence of the patent dating is a very nice feature. Grommets on other types of flags are never so specifically marked. Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% silk organza for support on every seam. It was then hand-stitched to 100% cotton, black in color, which was washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash 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.
Inventory Number: 13j-1185


Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
Contact   Jeff Bridgman Phone: (717) 502-1281
Period: 1st Half 20th Century (1901 -1949)
Date: 1902
Condition: There is very minor mothing and very minor staining, but the flag is in extraordinary condition for a wool flag of the period, especially one so scarce.
Measurements: Frame: Approx: 75" x 50.5" Flag: 64" x 39.5"
Inventory Other Inventory by this Dealer
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
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