13 Star Antique American Flag with Medallion Star Pattern and STANDARD Stamp | Circa 1895-1920s

13 Star Antique American Flag with Medallion Star Pattern and STANDARD Stamp
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13 Star Antique American Flag with Medallion Star Pattern and STANDARD Stamp
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13 Star Antique American Flag with Medallion Star Pattern and STANDARD Stamp | Circa 1895-1920s

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Price: Call 618-553-2291, or email info@bonsellamericana.com  
Frame Size (H x L): 42” x 58”
Flag Size (H x L): 32” x 48”

Offered is a beautiful thirteen-star flag with a medallion star pattern.  Its stripes are made of wool, and its stars are made of cotton and sewn to both sides of the canton (i.e., double appliqued), using a zig-zag stitching technique.  In August of 1889, Henry Bowman filed a patent application for a "method of making flags," which later issued as an enforceable patent in February of 1892 (US 469,395).  The patent claimed the zig-zag stitch, which is a very distinct back-and-forth sewing method.  The filing date of the patent, 1889, provides a fantastic "not earlier than date" when one encounters this kind of stitching on a particular flag.  Generally speaking, however, it is most commonly found on flags dating to between 1895 and 1940, and in contrast, a lineal stitch is most commonly found on flags dating to between 1890 and 1895. 

The thirteen-star medallion pattern is among the most attractive and rare of the thirteen-star patterns.  In our experience, of the thirteen-star antique flags that come to market, around 75% are the 3-2-3-2-3 Hopkinson pattern, 20% are the thirteen-star medallion pattern, and the remaining 5% are various different patterns, including the 4-5-4 and Betsy Ross patterns.  The thirteen-star medallion pattern is generally encountered in flags dating to the Centennial and into the early 1900s.  This example dates to between 1895 and the 1920s.         

The hoists of some antique flags include a stenciled marking.  A marking may include the name of the maker, patent numbers, the size of the flag, or the material used to make it.  In the case of this flag, the marking is “STANDARD 2 ½ X 4”.  The reference to STANDARD refers to the use of standard wool bunting, and the 2 ½ x 4 refers to the size of the flag in feet.  

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.  Patriotic 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. 

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 look great using any one of our Large or X-Large Frames, which are shown in the final two images.  The pricing associated with the different framing options may vary.  Reframing of an offering may delay shipment by up to two weeks.    

Condition Report: This flag exhibits some minor stains, mothing, and a slight tear at the top near the hoist end.  Overall, however, this is a beautifully preserved example and makes a tremendous statement.   

Collectability Level: The Best – Perfect for Advanced Collectors    
Date of Origin: 1895-1926  
Number of Stars: 13
Associated War: Spanish-American War (1898)   
Associated State: Original 13 Colonies

 

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