45 Star Antique Flag with Upside Down Stars | Circa 1896-1907

45 Star Antique Flag - BONSELL | AMERICANA
262. 45 Star Flag (Framed) (Photo Corrected 2) (2).jpg
262. 45 Star Flag (Framed) (Photo Corrected 2) (3) - Copy.jpg
45 Star Antique Flag - BONSELL | AMERICANA
262. 45 Star Flag (Framed) (Photo Corrected 2) (2).jpg
262. 45 Star Flag (Framed) (Photo Corrected 2) (3) - Copy.jpg

45 Star Antique Flag with Upside Down Stars | Circa 1896-1907

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Frame Size (H x L): 34” x 45”
Flag Size (H x L): 23” x 34”

Offered is a gorgeous forty-five star flag made of cotton.  The stars are arranged in an 8-7-8-7-8-7 pattern, and they are positioned upside down, meaning that a single point of each star is facing downwards and two points are facing upwards.  Why stars are placed upside down on antique flags is unclear.  In at least some cases, flag makers probably did not consider any orientation of the stars to be “upwards” or “downwards,” and simply just placed them whichever they felt was correct.    

The forty-five star flag represents the inclusion of Utah to the Union.  Utah was admitted on January 4th, 1896, and this flag became official on July 4th, 1896.  Presidents Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Teddy Roosevelt served under this flag, and the Spanish-American War was fought under it. 

In 1848 Utah became a territory of the United States, and in 1849 its constitution was established as the Mormon State of Deseret.  The next year, the State of Deseret applied to become a state, but Congress rejected the application and changed its name to the Utah Territory, which included the entirety of Nevada and portions of Colorado and Wyoming (as a section of the Missouri Compromise).  Despite its continued efforts to gain statehood, it remained a territory, partially as a result of the Mormon Church and Utah authorities being openly tolerant of polygamy.  In 1890 Utah outlawed the practice, and in 1896 Utah finally became the forty-fifth state.  The forty-five star flag was official for 12 years up until July 4th, 1908, when the forty-six star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of Oklahoma 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 is gold in color and highly distressed.  

Condition Report: This flag has staining and foxing across its canton and stirpes, but presents beautifully.  It also has some small, minor holes.  Many collectors prefer flags that show their age and use, particularly when this attractive.

Collectability Level: The Great – Perfect for Rising Collectors  
Date of Origin: 1896-1907  
Number of Stars: 45
Associated War: Spanish-American War (1898)   
Associated State: Utah  
 

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