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   38 HAND-SEWN STARS, 1876-1889, COLORADO STATEHOOD


 

Description:
38 star American National flag in a great, small size for the period (1876-1889) with hand-sewn stars.

The 38th state, Colorado, gained its statehood on August 1st, 1876. The 38 star flag became official on July 4th, 1877, and remained so until July 3rd, 1890. Because flag-making was a competitive venture, and no one wanted to be making 37 star flags when others were making 38�s, flag makers paid little heed to official star counts and would have begun producing 38 star flags for the nation�s centennial of independence, before they were official, sometime in the early part of 1876 or even prior.

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, circumstance changed and sewn flags began to find more of a decorative purpose.

Since the average 19th century sewn flag can be cumbersome to frame and display in an indoor setting, many collectors prefer printed parade flags and smaller sewn flags, such as this one, the size of which provides a good balance between visual impact and versatility.

The stars of the flag are made of cotton, are hand-sewn and double-appliqu�d (applied to both sides of the flag). Note how each is tipped slightly in the 11:00 position, which adds a nice element to the overall design. The canton and stripes of the flag are treadle-sewn and made of wool bunting. This construction is characteristic of the period and typical of most flags made for outdoor use. There is a cotton sleeve along the hoist end. A wooden staff was evidently threaded through the sleeve and held in place with three upholstery tacks.

Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% organza for support, then stitched to a background of 100% cotton twill, black in color, which 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 flag was then placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding. The front is u.v. protective plexiglas.
Inventory Number:

Dealer  

Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
Contact   Jeff Bridgman Phone: (717) 502-1281
Period: 19th Century (1801-1900)
Date: 1876-1889
Origin:
Condition: There are minor losses and tears throughout. There are minor rust stains along the hoist where the upholstery tacks held the staff in place. This is great overall condition for the period. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Measurements: Frame: 46" x 72" Flag: 35" x 59.5"
Inventory Other Inventory by this Dealer
Web-site: http://www.jeffbridgman.com
Price: sold
E-mail: Inquire
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