30 Star Antique US Flag with a Medallion Star Pattern and Haloed Center Star | One of Approximately 10-15 Known Examples | Circa 1848-1851

30 Star Antique US Flag with a Medallion Star Pattern and Haloed Center Star
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30 Star Antique Flag with Medallion and Haloed Center Star 5.JPG
Zachary Taylor Campaign.jpg
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30 Star Antique US Flag with a Medallion Star Pattern and Haloed Center Star
30 Star Antique Flag with Medallion and Haloed Center Star 3.JPG
30 Star Antique Flag with Medallion and Haloed Center Star 4.JPG
30 Star Antique Flag with Medallion and Haloed Center Star 5.JPG
Zachary Taylor Campaign.jpg
30 Star Antique Flag with Medallion and Haloed Center Star 6.JPG
30 Star Antique Flag with Medallion and Haloed Center Star 2.jpg

30 Star Antique US Flag with a Medallion Star Pattern and Haloed Center Star | One of Approximately 10-15 Known Examples | Circa 1848-1851

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Frame Size (H x L): 24.5” x 32”
Flag Size (H x L): 14.5” x 22”

Offered is an incredible thirty-star flag printed on coarse cotton.  Thirty-star flags are extremely rare, both because they were official for only three years and because they were pre-Civil War flags.  There may be fewer than ten remaining examples of this flag, and almost certainly fewer than fifteen.    

Flags predating the Civil War time period (1861-1865) are the rarest and most desirable of all US flags.  Prior to the Civil War, Americans did not typically display flags for patriotic purposes.  And likewise the military did not regularly use the flag, as it was not until 1834 that the army field artillery was permitted to carry the traditional US flag, and it was not until 1841 that regiments carried it.  For these reasons, flags made prior to the Civil War account for only around 1-in-100 flags made in the 19th century.     
This particular flag was likely waved at a campaign rally associated with the election of 1848.  Zachary Taylor, a member of the Whig Party, won the election, in which he ran against Lewis Cass, a member of the Democratic Party, and Martin Van Buren, a member of the Free Soil Party.  Zachary Taylor easily won the election, in large part because of his success as a General in the Mexican-American War.  His political beliefs were mostly vague in nature, but he did firmly believe in preserving the Union as tensions around slavery grew.  He died just seventeen months into his term, and was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.   

The stars of this flag are arranged in a gorgeous and highly desirable medallion pattern.  This particular medallion includes a large star in the middle, two rings of stars surrounding the large star, and a flanking star in each corner surrounding the rings.  The majority of medallion pattern flags date to between 1861 and 1876.  Beginning in the 1890s, the beautiful medallion patterns became less common, and linear arrangements became the norm.  Why this occurred is unclear, as flag makers had the freedom to place the stars however they liked until 1912, when President Taft issued Executive Order 1556 establishing the arrangement of the stars into rectilinear rows.        

The large canted star in the middle is sometimes referred to as a “center star.”  A center star is different than a great star, a term used to describe a star made up of smaller stars.  A center star is almost always positioned in the very middle of the canton.  The rest of the stars are then positioned around the center star, and form various different patterns.  The center star represents the newest state added to the Union (e.g., Wisconsin in the case of this thirty-star flag).  

Notice that the large center star includes two parts: a bold center star and a surrounding halo.  Haloed flags are extremely attractive and collectible.  The maker of this flag is unknown, but it is clear that the same company produced most, if not all, haloed flags, including flags with thirty, thirty-four, thirty-five, thirty-six, and forty-two stars.  The very earliest printed flags are twenty-six star flags.  The twenty-six star flags were produced between 1837 and 1845, meaning that this thirty-star flag is only a few years newer than the very earliest of all printed flags.  

The stripes of this particular flag are closer to orange than red.  Such a color is a result of the use of either madder or cochineal to create the red dye, and is common in flags dating between 1850 and 1880.  The orange color of the “red” stripes is very attractive.   

As noted above, the thirty-star flag represents the inclusion of Wisconsin to the Union.  Wisconsin was admitted on May 29th, 1848, and this flag became official on July 4th, 1848.  The thirty star flag was official until July 4th, 1851, the time at which the thirty-one star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of California 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.  The beautiful frame is black and includes an inner gold layer.   

Condition Report: As shown in the images, this flag has a number of tears along its hoist stripe and near its fly end.  The blue canton and red stripes are faded, and the white stripes exhibit some staining.  A fabric matching the color of the white stripes is sewn behind the flag to mask some minor holes in the white stripes.  Despite all of this, the flags is stunning and age appropriate in appearance.  Further, flags of this caliber are highly desired by collectors, regardless of condition.       

Collectability Level: The Best – Perfect for Advanced Collectors  
Date of Origin: 1848-1851  
Number of Stars: 30
Associated State: Wisconsin

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