45 Star Antique Flag US Flag with a Fantastic Overprint Related to the North Atlantic Squadron | Circa 1903

45 Star Antique Flag US Flag with a Fantastic Overprint Related to the North Atlantic Squadron
45 Star Antique Parade Flag with North Atlantic Squadron Overprint 2.JPG
45 Star Antique Parade Flag with North Atlantic Squadron Overprint 3.JPG
North Atlantic Squadron in Pensacola, Florida in 1903.jpg
North Atlantic Squadron Newspaper Clipping.JPG
North Atlantic Squadron Newspaper Heading.JPG
45 Star Antique Flag US Flag with a Fantastic Overprint Related to the North Atlantic Squadron
45 Star Antique Parade Flag with North Atlantic Squadron Overprint 2.JPG
45 Star Antique Parade Flag with North Atlantic Squadron Overprint 3.JPG
North Atlantic Squadron in Pensacola, Florida in 1903.jpg
North Atlantic Squadron Newspaper Clipping.JPG
North Atlantic Squadron Newspaper Heading.JPG

45 Star Antique Flag US Flag with a Fantastic Overprint Related to the North Atlantic Squadron | Circa 1903

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Price: Call 618-553-2291, or email info@bonsellamericana.com   
Frame Size (H x L): 20” x 16”
Flag Size (H x L): 4.5” x 6” and Affixed to a 10” Staff  

Offered is a forty-five star parade flag with a fantastic overprint of the following:

SMOKER
GIVEN TO THE MEN OF THE
NORTH ATLANTIC SQUADRON
By the Citizens of Pensacola, Florida
APRIL 14, 1903

As shown in the attached photograph and newspaper article, the North Atlantic Squadron (later renamed the North Atlantic Fleet) docked in Pensacola, and a social event (i.e., a smoker) was held between the men of the Squadron and the citizens of Pensacola.  Among those in attendance was Francis J. Higginson, who was an officer in the US Navy during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.  He was the last commander in chief of the North Atlantic Fleet.    

Overprints on flags come in a variety of forms, and are most frequently encountered in flags dating to between 1860 and 1910.  This overprinted flag is among the best that we have ever encountered, both for its form and rarity.  In terms of form, it is a great because of its varying fonts and sizes, its centering over the entire width of the flag, and its subject matter.  In terms of rarity, this is only version of this flag that we have ever encountered, and it is reasonable to assume that very few (if any) others have survived.   

The stars appear to be arranged in an 8-7-8-7-8-7 pattern.  The canton of the flag is a beautiful cornflower blue, and its stripes are a deep red.  The First Flag Act of 1777 specified the number of stripes and the colors of the flag, but did not specify the exact shades of each color, which is why some flags—like this one—have unusual colors.  The exact shades were not officially specified until 1934.     

The forty-five star flag represents the inclusion of Utah to the Union.  Utah was admitted on January 4th, 1896, and this flag became official on July 4th, 1896.  Presidents Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Teddy Roosevelt served under this flag, and the Spanish-American War was fought under it. 

In 1848 Utah became a territory of the United States, and in 1849 its constitution was established as the Mormon State of Deseret.  The next year, the State of Deseret applied to become a state, but Congress rejected the application and changed its name to the Utah Territory, which included the entirety of Nevada and portions of Colorado and Wyoming (as a section of the Missouri Compromise).  Despite its continued efforts to gain statehood, it remained a territory, partially as a result of the Mormon Church and Utah authorities being openly tolerant of polygamy.  In 1890 Utah outlawed the practice, and in 1896 Utah finally became the forty-fifth state.  The forty-five star flag was official for 12 years up until July 4th, 1908, when the forty-six star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of Oklahoma in 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: The frame dates to between 1860 and 1890, and includes a gold liner and extensive decorating.           

Condition Report: This flag has some minor staining and some fading.  There is some minor fraying along the bottom of the flag.  Many collectors prefer flags that show their use and age.

Collectability Level: The Great – Perfect for Rising Collectors
Date of Origin: 1903  
Number of Stars: 45
Associated War: Spanish-American War (1898)  
Associated State: Utah  

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