42 Star Antique Flag with Tumbling Stars | Circa 1889-1890

42 Star Antique Flag with Tumbling Stars | Circa 1889-1900
Close-up of 42 Star Antique Flag with Tumbling Stars | Circa 1889-1900
42 Star Antique Flag with Tumbling Stars | Circa 1889-1900
Close-up of 42 Star Antique Flag with Tumbling Stars | Circa 1889-1900

42 Star Antique Flag with Tumbling Stars | Circa 1889-1890

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Frame Size (H x L): 22.5” x 18.5”
Flag Size (H x L): 17” x 17”

Offered is a forty-two star flag made of cotton.  The stars are positioned in a 7-7-7-7-7-7 pattern.  When viewed horizontally, the stars in the first, third, and fifth rows are canted to the 1:00 position.  And in contrast, the stars in the second, fourth, and sixth rows are interestingly canted to the 11:00 position.  The inner six stars define an inner box, a middle box surrounds the inner box, and an outer box surrounds the middle box.  This is referred to as a rectangular box-in-a-box-in-a-box star arrangement.   

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 many, 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 43 star 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 frame is gold in color and highly distressed.  

Condition Report: This flag is in excellent condition.

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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