42 Star Antique American Flag with Consistently Canted Stars | Washington Statehood | Circa 1889-1890

42 Star Antique American Flag with Consistently Canted Stars | Washington Statehood
42 Star Antique US Flag with Consistently Canted Stars 2.jpg
42 Star Antique American Flag with Consistently Canted Stars | Washington Statehood
42 Star Antique US Flag with Consistently Canted Stars 2.jpg

42 Star Antique American Flag with Consistently Canted Stars | Washington Statehood | Circa 1889-1890

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Frame Size (H x L): 22” x 27.5”
Flag Size (H x L): 12” x 17.5”

Offered is a forty-two star parade flag made of cotton.  Its stars are arranged in a 7-7-7-7-7-7 pattern and are all canted to the 11:00 position.  Flags like this one were used in parades, celebrations, rallies, and inaugurations, to name just a few examples.   

The canton of this flag is an unusual shade of blue that is nearly purple in color.  In June of 1777, the Continental Congress passed the First Flag Act, which stated the following: Resolved, That the Flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.  While this specified the colors of the flag, it did not specify the exact shades thereof.  The exact shades were not officially specified until 1934.         

The forty-two star flag is an oddity in that its star count was never official.  In 1889, Congress considered adding the Dakota Territory as a single state.  What happened, however, was that the Dakota Territory was split it into two states: North Dakota and South Dakota, and they were both admitted on November 2nd, 1889.  Soon thereafter, on November 8th, 1889 Montana was admitted as the forty-first state, and on November 11th Washington was admitted as the forty-second.  When Congress went on break, flag makers began producing anticipatory forty-two star flags.

To the surprise of flag makers, on July 3rd, 1890—just one day before the forty-two star flag was going to be official—Congress admitted Idaho as the forty-third state.  As a result, the forty-two star flag never became official, but the forty-three star flag did.  Just a few days later, on July 10th, 1890, Congress admitted Wyoming as the forty-fourth state.  As a result of this rapid succession of state admissions, flag makers made large quantities of unofficial forty-two star flags and official forty-four star flags, but hardly any forty-three star flags (despite it being an official star count).

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 gold frame is substantial in nature and of the highest quality.  

Condition Report: The canton may have some minor fading, though it is difficult to know exactly how well it was stamped and its originally intended shade.  It has some very minor, very small stains near the hoist end along the bottom stripes. 

Collectability Level: The Good – Perfect for Beginning Collectors and Gifts Date of Origin: 1889-1890  
Number of Stars: 42
Associated War: Indian Wars (1860-1890)   
Associated State: Washington  

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