46 Star Antique US Flag with a GAR New York Overprint | Circa 1903

46 Star Antique US Flag with a GAR New York Overprint
46 Star Antique Flag with GAR New York Overprint 3.jpg
46 Star Antique Flag with GAR New York Overprint 2.jpg
46 Star Antique Flag with GAR New York Overprint 4.JPG
46 Star Antique Flag with GAR New York Overprint 5.JPG
46 Star Antique US Flag with a GAR New York Overprint
46 Star Antique Flag with GAR New York Overprint 3.jpg
46 Star Antique Flag with GAR New York Overprint 2.jpg
46 Star Antique Flag with GAR New York Overprint 4.JPG
46 Star Antique Flag with GAR New York Overprint 5.JPG

46 Star Antique US Flag with a GAR New York Overprint | Circa 1903

0.00

Frame Size (H x L): 44” x 57”
Flag Size (H x L): 32” x 45”

Offered is a forty-six star flag with a Grand Army of the Republic (“GAR”) New York Overprint.  The canton, stripes, and stars are printed into place.  The stars are arranged in an 8-7-8-8-7-8 pattern.  The stars in the first and sixth rows are canted to the 11:00 position, the stars in the second the fifth rows are canted to the 1:00 position, and the stars in the third and fourth rows are tumbling relative to one another.    

The GAR was a fraternal organization for the veterans of the Union Army, Union Navy, and Marines who served in the Civil War.  GAR members provided support to one another and also remembered those who had fallen in battle.  It was founded in 1866, peaked in 1890 with almost 500,000 members, and dissolved in 1956 when its last member died.  Many antique parade flags include a GAR overprint, this one being for a local New York post.  We have handled many GAR overprinted flags, but this is the first one that we have encountered with New York displayed so prominently.   

The forty-six star flag represents the inclusion of Oklahoma to the Union.  Oklahoma was admitted on November 16th, 1907, and this flag became official on July 4th, 1908.  Many Native Americans were driven to the region now known as Oklahoma—as a result of the Trail of Tears and the Indian Relocation Act—and promised that the region would forever be an Indian Territory.  The allure of the Indian Territory’s agricultural opportunities, however, was a catalyst for the passage of the Indian Appropriations Act in 1889, which opened the territory to white settlement and lead to the Land Rush.  Oklahoma became known as the Sooner State, based on the large number of settlers who illegally crossed into the state, so as to get a head start and claim the best properties. 

Printed along the cotton twill hoist of this flag is the year “1903,” which predates the time at which the forty-six star flag became official (1907).  Some flag makers made anticipatory flags in advance of their officially recognized date.  Clearly, by 1903, this flag maker was already anticipating the inclusion of a forty-sixth state to the Union.  The cotton twill hoist includes other markings, but they cannot be deciphered.  They are likely related to the specific GAR post, the maker of the flag, and/or the dimensions of the flag.         

Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft served under served under the forty-six star flag.  While it did not become official until 1908, many examples are anticipatory in nature and date to as far back as the 1890s.  The forty-six star flag was official up until July 4th, 1912 when the forty-eight star became official and began to represent the inclusion of New Mexico and Arizona 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 a black and distressed, and its profile is consistent with 19th century frames.     

Condition Report: This flag has staining and foxing throughout canton and stripes.  There is damage to the top of the hoist and to portions of the fly end, particularly at the fly end of the top red stripe.  Still, this flag presents wonderfully, and we chose to conserve it—in part—based on its wonderful patina.  Many collectors prefer flags that show their use and age.  

Collectability Level: The Great – Perfect for Rising Collectors  
Date of Origin: 1903
Number of Stars: 46
Associated State: Oklahoma    

Add To Cart