A Pre-Civil War 33 Star Antique Flag with a Medallion Star Pattern | Oregon Statehood | Circa 1859-1861

A Pre-Civil War 33 Star Antique Flag with a Medallion Star Pattern
A Pre-Civil War 33 Star Antique Flag with a Medallion Star Pattern
A Pre-Civil War 33 Star Antique Flag with a Medallion Star Pattern
A Pre-Civil War 33 Star Antique Flag with a Medallion Star Pattern

A Pre-Civil War 33 Star Antique Flag with a Medallion Star Pattern | Oregon Statehood | Circa 1859-1861

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Price: Call 618-553-2291, or email info@bonsellamericana.com
Frame Size (H x L): 16” x 19”
Flag Size (H x L): 6” x 9”

Offered is a thirty-three star American flag printed on glazed cotton.  The large star in the middle is referred to as a “center star,” and it is canted to the 11:00 position.  The center star represents the newest state added to the Union (e.g., West Virginia in the case of this thirty-five star flag).  Surrounding the center star is a pair of concentric rings of stars, and surrounding the rings are four flanking stars positioned in the corners of the canton. 

The stars of this flag are pointy and folksy in their appearance, and are tightly packed onto the canton.  Although the maker of this flag is unknown, these distinctly shaped stars are common to a small family of flags that originated from the same workshop.  The maker of this flag made six star counts in this same style: seven, thirteen, fifteen, twenty-nine, thirty-three, and thirty-five.  The seven star flags were made to celebrate the first seven states to secede from the Union, while the thirteen star flags were made to celebrate the original thirteen states.  The fifteen star flags were made to celebrate Kentucky’s centennial.  And the twenty-nine, thirty-three, and thirty-five star flags were made to celebrate the latest states added to the Union (Iowa, Oregon, and West Virginia, respectively).   

The thirty-three star flag represents the inclusion of Oregon to the Union.  Oregon was admitted on February 14th, 1859, and this flag became official on July 4th, 1859.  Use of the thirty-three star flag overlapped the beginning of the Civil War, as evidenced by, for example, a thirty-three star flag being flown at Fort Sumter when Confederate soldiers attacked it.  Flags associated with the Civil War time period are among the rarest and most collectible of all antique flags.  Prior to the Civil War, Americans did not typically display flags for patriotic purposes, and even the military did not regularly use it.  Instead, most flags prior to the Civil War were used to mark ships and were massive in scale.  The surge in small US flags for patriotic purposes began with the election of Lincoln and the onset of the Civil War. 

The thirty-three star flag was official until July 4th, 1861, the time at which the thirty-four star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of Kansas 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 antique Eastlake frame dates to between 1870 and 1880.   

Condition Report: This flag has some minor stains, all of which are common in this style of flag and age appropriate.  This flag has a minor tear along the bottom of the hoist.  This tear has been sewn into place and masked with matching fabric.     

Collectability Level: The Best – Perfect for Advanced Collectors
Date of Origin: 1859-1861
Number of Stars: 33   
Associated War: Pre-Civil War
Associated State: Oregon   

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