13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Pattern and Extended Signs of Use | Complete with Provenance and Examination from Flag Historian, Howard Madaus | Circa 1890-1900

13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Pattern and Examination Report from Flag Historian Howard Madaus
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 2.jpg
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 3.JPG
Notes from Howard Madaus Related to 13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 5.JPG
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 4.JPG
Notes from Howard Madaus Related to 13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 6.JPG
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Pattern and Examination Report from Flag Historian Howard Madaus
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 2.jpg
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 3.JPG
Notes from Howard Madaus Related to 13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 5.JPG
13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 4.JPG
Notes from Howard Madaus Related to 13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Star Pattern 6.JPG

13 Star Antique US Flag with Medallion Pattern and Extended Signs of Use | Complete with Provenance and Examination from Flag Historian, Howard Madaus | Circa 1890-1900

0.00

Frame Size (H x L): 42” x 58”
Flag Size (H x L): 32” x 48”

Offered is a beautiful thirteen-star flag, showcasing extended signs of use and a medallion star pattern.  This flag was discovered, in 1987, at the C.H. Hanson Company’s factory, located on 303 West Erie Street in Chicago, Illinois.  C.H. Hanson founded the company in 1866, following his service in the Civil War as part of the New York State Volunteers, 39th Regiment Infantry.  His company specialized in stencils and engraving, and is currently located just outside of Chicago in Naperville, Illinois.       

Howard Madaus, one of America’s foremost flag and arms historians, examined this flag in 1998, and a portion of his notes and drawings are shown in the images.  (Note that out of respect to the previous owner, his name and contact information have been redacted.)  In Howard’s opinion, this flag dates to between 1890 and 1900, and may have flown at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.  This association is quite possible, in part because flags of this form flew at the World’s Fair, and further in part because the C.H. Hanson Company supplied raised etch plates (signs) and commemorative advertising coins for the World’s Fair. 

The stripes and canton of this flag are made of wool, and the heading is made of twill weave cotton.  Brass grommets pierce each end of the heading.  The white stripes have converted to a light black color, which may be the result of this flag being used in a 19th century manufacturing environment at the C.H Hanson Company.  The black toned, white stripes are striking and unique, and add considerably to this flag’s appeal.  Further adding to this flag’s appeal are the gorgeous signs of use along the fly end. 

Its yellow toned 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, and is in alignment with Howard’s opinion that this flag may have flown at the World’s Fair.   

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. 

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.  Patriotic 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. 

Conservation Process: This flag was hand sewn to black wool, and both were hand sewn to cotton fabric.  The wool provides a strong layer of protection and a professional appearance.  The flag, the wool, 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 stunning frame is black and has a very attractive profile.  As shown in the photos, this flag saw extended use.  Fortunately, with the help of our great team, we were able to stabilize it and showcase its beauty.   

Condition Report: As noted above, this flag exhibits significant signs of use, most notably along the fly end and the bottom stripes.  In our opinion, and that of many leading collectors, these signs of use are to be celebrated and valued. 

Collectability Level: The Best – Perfect for Advanced Collectors    
Date of Origin: 1890-1900  
Number of Stars: 13
Associated War: Spanish-American War (1898)   
Associated State: Original 13 Colonie 

Add To Cart