39 Star Antique Flag with Tumbling Star Pattern | Never an Official Star Count | Circa 1876-1889

39 Star Antique Flag with Tumbling Star Pattern
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39 Star Antique Flag with Tumbling Star Pattern
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39 Star Antique American Flag 7.JPG
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39 Star Antique Flag with Tumbling Star Pattern | Never an Official Star Count | Circa 1876-1889

from 975.00

Frame Size (H x L): 24” x 33”
Flag Size (H x L): 14” x 23”

Offered is a thirty-nine star flag made of silk.  Its stars are arranged in a 6-7-7-6-7-6 pattern, and they tumble within each row.  The stars also appear to spiral outwards when viewed from the center and moving radially outwards.  The canton has a bit of a cornflower blue hue.

Thirty-nine star flags are an oddity in that their star count was never official.  They were made at two different times, initially in 1876 and later in 1889.  In 1876, before the admission of Colorado, flag makers speculated that an additional territory would also be admitted therewith.  Because of this, some flag makers went from making thirty-seven star flags to thirty-nine star versions in 1876 (e.g., in patriotic centennial quilts).  Instead, what actually occurred was only Colorado was admitted, and the flag went from thirty-seven stars to thirty-nine in 1876. 

Later, in 1889, Congress considered adding the Dakota Territory as a single state, and based on this, some flag makers made anticipatory thirty-nine star flags.  What happened, however, was that the Dakota Territory was then split it into two states: North Dakota and South Dakota, and they were both admitted on November 2nd, 1889.  This unexpectedly increased the star count, in 1889, from thirty-eight stars to forty stars, not to mention the unexpected increase from forty stars to forty-three stars this same year (i.e., the unexpected inclusion of Montana, Washington, and Idaho).  The Flag Act of 1818 specified that the addition of each star should be on the Fourth of July following a state’s admission to the Union.  Because North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, and Idaho were all admitted in 1889, the official star count of the official US flag increased from thirty-eight to forty-three in just a single year.  Despite this, flag makers made thirty-nine star anticipatory flags based on incorrect assumptions of how and when new states would be admitted to the Union.   

Conservation Process: This flag was hand sewn to cotton fabric, and both were 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 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 staining across its canton and stripes.  It also has some minor holes and tears.  Many collectors prefer flags that show their use and age.  

Collectability Level: The Good – Perfect for Beginning Collectors and Gifts  
Date of Origin: 1876-1889  
Number of Stars: 39   
Associated War: Indian Wars (1860-1890)  
Associated State: North Dakota  

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