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   CONFEDERATE FIRST NATIONAL FLAG OR �STARS & BARS�, AN UNUSUALLY NICE REUNION PERIOD EXAMPLE, 1884-1920:


 

Description:
This 1st National design Confederate flag, commonly known as the �Stars & Bars�, was made sometime in the period between the founding of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1884 and 1920. Of the many reunion-era flags that I see in this pattern, almost none date this early and almost none are homemade, which makes this an unusual and desirable example. Its 7 stars represent the 7 states that left the Union in the initial wave of secession in 1861. The 7th of these was Texas, officially, though 7 star examples are sometimes produced to demonstrate the origin of the war and the original flag of the Confederacy with its 7 stars, that would later grow to 8, 9, 10, and 11 as four more states followed, and even 12 or 13 if the two border states, Kentucky and Missouri, which had split governments, were also included.

The flag is made entirely of cotton. Its stars are single appliqu�d, which means that they were applied to one side of the canton, then the blue fabric was cut from behind each star, folded over, and under-hemmed so that one appliqu�d star could be visible on both sides of the flag. This type of appliqu� work almost always leads to stars that are cruder in their appearance and more visually interesting, which is the case here. The initial application of the stars was done by treadle machine, and the under-hemming was done by hand. The three bars were joined to the canton and themselves by treadle stitching and the binding was done in the same fashion.

This particular example would have been made for use by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) or the United Confederate Veterans (UCV), which served as the primary post-war organizations for Confederate soldiers, their wives and daughters. The UDC was founded in 1884 and the UCV in 1889. The salmon colored fabric used in the top and bottom bar seems to be the original color. It is also possible that the dye used to make the red bars may also have become fugitive, reducing its intensity. This would be rather unusual, however, as reds were not often fugitive. It is therefore likely that this is their original coloration.

A Brief History of Confederate Flag Designs: For those unfamiliar with the history of the various designs of Confederate flag, know that the traditional Southern Cross with 13 stars, which is widely recognizable by most Americans as the Confederate flag, was not actually one of the three successive national flags of the Confederate States of America, despite its modern popularity. It actually began life as the Confederate Navy Jack, but with a rectangular profile instead of square, used to mark Confederate Navy ships. The square format was an adaptation for land use and was carried by Lee�s Army of Northern Virginia, Beauregard�s army, and others.

The Confederacy had three successive national designs, known as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Confederate National Flags. The first of these, the Stars & Bars, which was replaced because it looked too much like the Stars & Stripes on the battlefield to be as effective as it should have been as a signal.

The second Confederate flag was white in color, with the Southern Cross serving as its canton. Soldiers hated this design because it looked too much like a surrender flag, and, if given the opportunity, they would dip the end in blood. A red vertical stripe was later added at the fly end, and the result was adopted as the 3rd national design. This final configuration was used for only 36 days before Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% hemp fabric and placed in a contemporary burled molding. The front is u.v. protective acrylic.
Inventory Number:

Dealer  

Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
Contact   Jeff Bridgman Phone: (717) 502-1281
Period: 19th Century (1801-1900)
Date: 1884-1920
Origin:
Condition: If the salmon color of the red bars is original, as suggested above, then there are no significant condition issues.
Measurements: Frame: appox. 47.5" x 64" Flag: 35.5" x 52"
Inventory Other Inventory by this Dealer
Web-site: http://www.jeffbridgman.com
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
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