42 Star Antique US Flag with Stars Arranged by Columns | Never an Official Star Count | Circa 1889-1890

42 Star Antique US Flag with Stars Arranged by Columns
42 Star Antique Flag with Different Sized Stars Arranged by Columns 2.jpg
2. 3 Gold Image.jpg
Large Frames.JPG
42 Star Antique US Flag with Stars Arranged by Columns
42 Star Antique Flag with Different Sized Stars Arranged by Columns 2.jpg
2. 3 Gold Image.jpg
Large Frames.JPG

42 Star Antique US Flag with Stars Arranged by Columns | Never an Official Star Count | Circa 1889-1890

from 1,350.00

Frame Size (H x L): 28.5” x 34”
Flag Size (H x L): 18.5” x 24”  

Offered is a forty-two star antique flag printed on cotton.  The First Flag Act of 1777 specified the number of stripes and the colors of the flag, but it did not specify the star placements or its overall proportions.  Because of this lack of specificity, each flag maker could place the stars and dimension the flag however he wanted.  This freedom extended all the way to 1912, the time at which President Taft issued Executive Order 1556, establishing that the stars should be placed in a rectilinear pattern, and establishing the proportions of the flag.  In the case of this flag, the stars of this flag are arranged by columns, instead of rows, with seven stars in each column.  The stars of the first, third, and fifth columns are positioned slightly upwards, and the stars in the remaining rows are positioned slightly downwards.  The result is a wave like effect when viewing the canton from side to side.       

The forty-two star flag is an oddity in that its star count was never official.  In 1889, Congress considered adding the Dakota Territory as a single state.  What happened, however, was that the Dakota Territory was split it into two states: North Dakota and South Dakota, and they were both admitted on November 2nd, 1889.  Soon thereafter, on November 8th, 1889 Montana was admitted as the forty-first state, and on November 11th Washington was admitted as the forty-second.  When Congress went on break, flag makers began producing anticipatory forty-two star flags.

To the surprise of many, on July 3rd, 1890—just one day before the forty-two star flag was going to be official—Congress admitted Idaho as the forty-third state.  As a result, the forty-two star flag never became official, but the 43 star did.  Just a few days later, on July 10th, 1890, Congress admitted Wyoming as the forty-fourth state.  As a result of this rapid succession of state admissions, flag makers made large quantities of unofficial forty-two star flags and official forty-four star flags, but hardly any forty-three star flags (despite it being an official star count).

Mounting: 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: This flag has staining and foxing throughout, but particularly along the hoist end and along the fly end.  There are rust marks where the flag was originally attached to a staff.  The canton and red stripes exhibit some fading.  Despite all of this, the flag presents wonderfully.  Many collectors prefer flags that have a patina and show their use.   

Collectability Level: The Good – Perfect for Beginning Collectors and Gifts   
Date of Origin: 1889-1890  
Number of Stars: 42
Associated War: Indian Wars (1860-1890)   
Associated State: Washington  

Frame:
Quantity:
Add To Cart