44 Star Antique Parade Flag with Canted Stars | Circa 1890-1896

44 Star Antique Flag - BONSELL | AMERICANA
289. 44 Star Flag - Copy.jpg
289. 44 Star Flag.jpg
44 Star Antique Flag - BONSELL | AMERICANA
289. 44 Star Flag - Copy.jpg
289. 44 Star Flag.jpg

44 Star Antique Parade Flag with Canted Stars | Circa 1890-1896

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Frame Size (H x L): 12” x 17”
Flag Size (H x L): 7” x 12”

Offered is a forty-fourstar parade flag made of silk.  The stars are arranged in a rectilinear 8-7-7-7-7-8 pattern.  The stars in the first, third, and fifth rows are canted to the 1:00 position, and the stars in the second, fourth, and sixth rows are canted to the 11:00 position.  The stars in the first and last rows are tightly packed, so as to almost touch one another.  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 sometimes referred to as a rectangular box-in-a-box-in-a-box arrangement.

The forty-four star flag represents the inclusion of Wyoming to the Union.  Wyoming was admitted on July 10th, 1890, and this flag became official on July 4th, 1891.  Presidents Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland served under this flag. 

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, 1889, Washington was admitted as the forty-second.  When Congress went on break, flag makers began producing anticipatory forty-two star flags for the following July 4th, 1890.

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 forty-three 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).

The forty-four star flag is relatively rare when compared to, for example, the forty-five star flag, as a result of it being used after the Centennial, but before the Spanish American War.  The forty-four star flag was the official flag for five years up until July 4th, 1896, the time at which the forty-five star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of Utah 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 frame if gold in color and highly distressed.  

Condition Report: This flag has some minor stains and small holes, but presents nicely.  Many collectors prefer flags that show their use and age.

Collectability Level: The Good – Perfect for Beginning Collectors and Gifts  
Date of Origin: 1890-1896
Number of Stars: 44
Associated War: Indian Wars (1860-1890)  
Associated State: Wyoming  
 

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