13 Star Antique Flag with a Beautiful Patina and Medallion Pattern | Circa 1895-1900

13 Star Antique Flag with a Beautiful Patina and Medallion Pattern | Circa 1895-1900
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 4.JPG
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 5.JPG
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 3.JPG
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 2.JPG
13 Star Antique Flag with a Beautiful Patina and Medallion Pattern | Circa 1895-1900
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 4.JPG
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 5.JPG
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 3.JPG
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 2.JPG

13 Star Antique Flag with a Beautiful Patina and Medallion Pattern | Circa 1895-1900

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Frame Size (H x L): 40” x 57” 
Flag Size (H x L): 29” x 46” 

Offered is a gorgeous thirteen-star flag.  Its stripes are made of wool, and its stars are made of cotton and sewn to both sides of the canton (i.e., double appliqued), using a zig-zag stitching technique.  In August of 1889, Henry Bowman filed a patent application for a "method of making flags," which later issued as an enforceable patent in February of 1892 (US 469,395).  The patent claimed the zig-zag stitch, which is a very distinct back-and-forth sewing method.  The filing date of the patent, 1889, provides a fantastic "not earlier than date" when one encounters this kind of stitching on a particular flag.  Generally speaking, however, it is most commonly found on flags dating to between 1895 and 1940, and in contrast, a lineal stitch is most commonly found on flags dating to between 1890 and 1895.  

The thirteen-star medallion pattern is among the most attractive and rare of the thirteen-star patterns.  In our experience, of the thirteen-star antique flags that come to market, around 75% are the 3-2-3-2-3 Hopkinson pattern, 20% are the thirteen-star medallion pattern, and the remaining 5% are various different patterns, including the 4-5-4 and Betsy Ross patterns.  The thirteen-star medallion pattern is generally encountered in flags dating to the Centennial and into the early 1900s.  

Given this flag’s (1) larger than normal, starfish shaped stars, (2) its beautiful patina, and (3) its medallion pattern, it likely dates to between 1895 and 1900.         

The original use of the thirteen-star flag dates to June 14th, 1777, the time at which the Continental Congress adopted a resolution creating the first official flag.  The resolution stated, “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”  Thirteen-star flags were official from 1777-1795, but have been in use ever since.  

Small US Navy boats used it as the ensign from 1795 until 1916.  Thirteen-star flags were also flown at the time of George Washington’s death in 1799 and to celebrate the nation’s 50th anniversary in 1824.  They were also flown in 1824 in honor of General Lafayette’s return to the US for his nationwide tour.  Celebrations for his Revolutionary War service were held in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, along with many locations in the southern and western states.  

Further, thirteen-star flags were also common during the Mexican War in 1846-1848 and the Civil War in 1861-1865.  They were both relatively close in time to the revolution, and were very patriotic times, particularly during the Civil War time period when flag use became much more common than had ever previously been the case.  Thirteen-star flags were also flown during the centennial celebrations, which were held across the country and, most notably, in Philadelphia at the Centennial International Exhibition.  

Conservation Process: This flag was hand sewn to silk organza, and both were hand sewn to cotton fabric.  The silk organza provides a strong layer of protection and a professional appearance.  The flag, the silk organza, and the cotton fabric were then 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.  The frame is gold in color and highly distressed.  
  
Condition Report: This flag has minor staining along its host and mothing throughout.  Many collectors prefer flags that show their use and age.   

Collectability Level: The Best – Perfect for Advanced Collectors    
Date of Origin: 1895-1900   
Number of Stars: 13  
Associated War: Spanish-American War (1898)
Associated State: Original 13 Colonies
   
 

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