Extremely Scarce 40 Star Antique Flag | Accurate for Just Six Days | Circa 1889

40 Star Antique Flag
40 Star Antique Flag 2.jpg
3. 3 Black Image.jpg
Medium Frames.JPG
40 Star Antique Flag
40 Star Antique Flag 2.jpg
3. 3 Black Image.jpg
Medium Frames.JPG

Extremely Scarce 40 Star Antique Flag | Accurate for Just Six Days | Circa 1889

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Price: Call 618-553-2291, or email info@bonsellamericana.com
Frame Size (H x L): 21” x 27”
Flag Size (H x L): 12” x 18”

Offered is an extremely scarce forty-star parade flag, dating to 1889.  Its stars are arranged in a 7-6-7-7-6-7 pattern, and each one of them has a uniquely whimsical shape and orientation.  This flag is printed on a coarse and glazed cotton.  As can be seen in the images, it has a straight and horizontal warp, but in contrast, has an arched and vertical weft.  The arched and vertical weft is an unusual trait, as most flags that date to this period have both a straight warp and a straight weft.      

In 1889, the Dakota Territory was split it into two states: North Dakota and South Dakota, and they were both admitted on November 2nd, 1889.  Just six days later, on November 8th, 1889 Montana was admitted as the forty-first state (making the forty-star flag almost immediately obsolete).  And then, just three days later, on November 11th, 1889, Washington was admitted as the forty-second states (making the forty-one star flag almost immediately obsolete).  As a result of this rapid succession of state admissions, flag makers made large quantities of forty-two star flags, but hardly any forty or forty-one star flags.  In fact, there are only around thirty known examples of printed forty-star flags in circulation, and thus they are very desirable to even the most advanced of collectors.         

Of these known examples, printed forty-star flags come in three varieties.  The first variety is as shown in the images.  The second variety is quite similar to the one in the images, but includes stars that are slightly more elongated and an unusual canton that extends down along the hoist strip.  The third variety, which dates to 1868, is associated with the Greenback Party and is illustrated as item 343 in the Threads of History.  It includes a medallion star pattern, part of which is covered by an overprint of currency.

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 Medium Distressed Black Frame.  However, it can be reframed and would look great using any one of our Medium 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: Overall, this flag is in excellent condition.  It does have some small stains, the most notable of which is a brown stain positioned over the end of the bottom white stripe. 

Collectability Level: The Best – Perfect for Advanced Collectors   
Date of Origin: 1889  
Number of Stars: 40
Associated War: Indian Wars (1860-1890)   
Associated State: South Dakota   

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