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   13 STARS IN A 4-5-4 CONFIGURATION, 1876 CENTENNIAL ERA, RARE SMALL SIZE:


 

Description:
13 star American national flag, with hand-sewn stars, in a rare, small size for a flag with sewn construction that dates to the 19th century. The 4-5-4 row configuration is both scarcer and more appealing than rows of stars in counts of 3-2-3-2-3, and is generally seen on flags made during the Civil War period and prior. For some reason the 4-5-4 pattern was not popular during the celebration of our nation�s 100-year anniversary in 1876, around the time this particular flag was likely made and when more 13 star flags were made than at any single time during the 19th century.

The small scale of the flag adds considerably to its appeal. Today in the 21st century, a flag three feet in length is common. Prior to the 1890�s however, this flag is extremely small when compared to its counterparts with sewn construction. Printed parade flags (sometimes called hand-wavers) were generally three feet long or smaller, but flags with sewn construction were generally between 8 and 20 feet in length. This is because flags needed to be seen from a distance to be effective in their purpose as signals, while today their use is more often decorative and for the general display of patriotism. During the 19th century, however, even those flags made for decorative purpose were often large by today�s standards, so the average 19th century sewn flag can be cumbersome to frame and display in an indoor setting. This is why most collectors covet unusually small examples, like this one.

The purpose of this flag was either for display at the American Centennial of Independence in 1876, or for use as a small boat ensign. If the use was maritime, it could have been flown at the stern, from a gaff, or from the yard-arm on a larger craft, or on a small boat that carried sailors back and forth to shore.

The stripes and canton are made of wool bunting and joined with a treadle machine. Because wool sheds water, this construction served well for all manner of outdoor use when the flag was flown from a fixed position on a building, flag pole, or vessel. The flag�s cotton stars are hand-sewn and double-appliqu�d, meaning that they are sewn to both sides of the blue canton. There is a heavy cotton sleeve, through which a twisted cotton rope was inserted for hoisting.

13 star flags have been used throughout our Nation�s history for a variety of purposes. The U.S. Navy used the 13 star count on small boats, not only in the 18th century, but throughout much or all of the 19th century, particularly the second half. The practice theoretically ended in 1916 following an executive order from then-President Woodrow Wilson, though old military traditions die hard and according to at least one expert, Wilson�s order did not completely dispel the presence of 13 star flags on U.S. Navy ships. Some private ships flew 13 star flags during the same period as the Navy, and the use of yachting ensigns with a wreath of 13 stars surrounding an anchor, which began in 1848, still persists today. Among other uses, 13 star flags were carried by soldiers during the Mexican and Civil Wars and displayed at patriotic events, including Lafayette�s visit in 1825-26, the celebration of the Nation�s Centennial in 1876, and the Sesquicentennial in 1926.
Inventory Number:

Dealer  

Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
Contact   Jeff Bridgman Phone: (717) 502-1281
Period: 19th Century (1801-1900)
Date: 1870-1890
Origin:
Condition: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% silk organza on every seam for support. The flag was then stitched to a background of 100% cotton, black in color. The background fabric was washed to remove 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 mount was then placed in a substantial, convex-profile, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding. The front is u.v. protective acrylic.
Measurements: flag: 29.25" x 47.5" frame: 41.25" x 60.25"
Inventory Other Inventory by this Dealer
Web-site: http://www.jeffbridgman.com
Price: Sold
E-mail: Inquire
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