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45 star American national flag, treadle-sewn of wool bunting with zigzag, machine-sewn, cotton stars and a cotton sleeve with 2 brass grommets. While the construction is very typical of 45 star flags, the size, however, is everything but. Measuring just 25 x 37 inches, this flag holds the rare distinction of being the smallest 45 star flag with pieced-and-sewn, wool bunting construction that I have ever encountered. In the 19th century, cloth flags with sewn construction (as opposed to printed) were typically eight feet long or larger. This is because they were important in their function as signals, meaning that they needed to be seen and recognized from a great distance. A small flag was six feet in length and production of flags smaller than this was extremely limited. Even infantry battle flags were approximately six by six-and-one-half feet, about the size of an average quilt of the same period. As time passed, circumstances changed and sewn flags began to find more of a decorative purpose. In the 1890�s it became popular for flag manufacturers to produce smaller flags with 13 stars. These were the first commercial flags, mass-produced for non-military purpose, that commonly measured just two-by-three-feet. Production of these flags continued into the 1920�s. During the same period, however, flags were not normally produced with pieced-and-sewn construction, with the full complement of stars (44, 45, 46, and 48 stars) in the lengths of less than 5 feet. 4-foot examples are rare. Those measuring just three feet are all but non-existent. It was not until well into the 48 star period, probably around the time of the 1926 Sesquicentennial (our 150th anniversary of independence), that flags in the full star count, with sewn construction, were more regularly made in such a tiny size. Utah became the 45th state in 1896. It had been attempting to gain statehood for many years, but remained a territory, primarily due to the fact that the Mormon Church and Utah authorities continued to be openly tolerant of polygamy. In 1890, Mormon Church President Wilford Woodruff published a manifesto that denounced the contract of �any marriages forbidden by the law of the land�. This gave way to Utah�s 1896 acceptance. The 45 star flag was generally used from that year until 1907, when Oklahoma joined the Union. Due to the Spanish-American War (1898) and Teddy Roosevelt�s famous world tour of the �White Fleet� (launched in 1907), this was an extremely patriotic period. Verbal provenance from the former owner states that the flag was flown outside her uncle�s inn in Oregon during the Spanish American War (1898), and that it was flown alongside a small 13 star flag. If this information added serious value, I would not accept it as factual based on verbal history alone. Knowledge of its use at an Oregon inn is an interesting bit of information to know, but does not contribute to a hefty price. For this reason I am inclined to take the former owner at her word and pass on the information for future generations to enjoy. I was also able to purchase the 13 star flag mentioned above, the stars of which were arranged in medallion with a single center star and a flanking star in each corner of the blue canton. Both flags were quite obviously made by the same manufacturer and were in an excellent state of preservation. Note that the word "Standard" is stamped on the hoist with black ink. This was a brand name that the manufacturer used, typically to designate both the quality and weave of the bunting used in the flag's manufacturing. It often identified a particular product line. Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% silk organza on every seam and throughout the star field for support. Then flag was then hand-sewn to a background of 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, which 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:


Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
Contact   Jeff Bridgman Phone: (717) 502-1281
Period: 19th Century (1801-1900)
Date: 1896-1908
Condition: There is very minor mothing, but there are no serious condition issues.
Measurements: Frame: Approx: 36" x 48" Flag: 25" x 37"
Inventory Other Inventory by this Dealer
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
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