13 Star Antique American Flag with a Cowpens Style Star Pattern | A Rare and Desirable Small Scale Example | Circa 1910-1930

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13 Star Antique American Flag with a Cowpens Style Star Pattern | A Rare and Desirable Small Scale Example | Circa 1910-1930

from 3,450.00

Frame Size (H x L): 33” x 45”  
Flag Size (H x L): 22” x 36”  

Offered is a thirteen-star antique American flag, in which there are twelve stars surrounding a single large center star.    This star pattern is referred a Cowpens pattern or as a 3rd Maryland pattern.  A flag with this pattern was said to have been carried by William Batchelor of the Maryland Light Infantry, at the Battle of Cowpens, in 1781.  The Battle was fought by Continental Army forces against the British Army, and proved to be a turning point in the Revolutionary War.  The actual flag used in the Battle of Cowpens was thought to have been in the possession of the state of Maryland (see the image).  However, Grace Rogers Cooper, former curator of textiles in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of History and Technology, determined that the “actual flag” probably dated to no earlier than 1843.  This revised assessment was based on the kind of cotton stars, the kind of cotton thread, and a comparison with a positively identified Mexican War Era flag.  

Cowpens flags are among the most difficult of all thirteen-star flags to find, and they also have a fantastic visual appeal.  In our experience, of the thirteen-star antique flags that come to market, around 75% are the 3-2-3-2-3 Hopkinson pattern, around 20% are the medallion pattern, and the remaining 5% are various different patterns, including the Cowpens pattern, the 4-5-4 pattern, and Betsy Ross pattern.  Adding to the desirability of this flag is its size and the rarity thereof.  At 22” x 36” it is small enough to display, yet big enough to make a statement.     

The stripes and canton of this flag are made of wool bunting, and each individual piece is machine sewn into place.  Its stars are made of cotton and are sewn to both sides of the canton (i.e., double appliqued), using a zig-zag stitch.  The hoist strip includes two brass grommets.    As a result of the proportions of this flag and its construction, we estimate that this flag was made between 1910 and 1930.   

The original use of the thirteen-star flag dates to June 14th, 1777, the time at which the Continental Congress adopted a resolution creating the first official flag.  The resolution stated, “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”  Thirteen-star flags were official from 1777-1795, but have been in use ever since. 

Small US Navy boats used it as the ensign from 1795 until 1916.  Thirteen-star flags were also flown at the time of George Washington’s death in 1799 and to celebrate the nation’s 50th anniversary in 1824.  They were also flown in 1824 in honor of General Lafayette’s return to the US for his nationwide tour.  Celebrations for his Revolutionary War service were held in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, along with many locations in the southern and western states. 

Further, thirteen-star flags were also common during the Mexican War in 1846-1848 and the Civil War in 1861-1865.  They were both relatively close in time to the revolution, and were very patriotic times, particularly during the Civil War time period when flag use became much more common than had ever previously been the case.  Thirteen-star flags were also flown during the centennial celebrations, which were held across the country and, most notably, in Philadelphia at the Centennial International Exhibition. 

Conservation Process: This flag was hand sewn to silk organza, and both were hand sewn to cotton fabric.  The silk organza provides a strong layer of protection and a professional appearance.  The flag, the silk organza, and the cotton fabric were then hand sewn to a mounting board.  To prevent the black dye in the cotton fabric from seeping into the flag, it was first washed in a standard wash and then in a dye setting wash.  The flag is positioned behind a UV resistant acrylic, and spaced apart therefrom using spacers. 

Frame: This offering is in our Large Black and Gold Frame.  However, it can be reframed and would look great using any one of our Large Frames, which are shown in the final image.  The pricing associated with the different framing options may vary.  Reframing of an offering may delay shipment by up to two weeks.       

Condition Report: The flag has some minor tears and stains, but displays wonderfully.

Collectability Level: The Great – Perfect for Rising Collectors  
Date of Origin: 1910-1930  
Number of Stars: 13
Associated State: Original 13 Colonies 

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