Antique 48 Star US Flag Whipple Pennant | An Extremely Rare and Fantastic Example | Circa 1909-1912

Antique 48 Star US Flag Whipple Pennant
Antique 48 Star US Flag Whipple Pennant 2.jpg
Antique 48 Star US Flag Whipple Pennant
Antique 48 Star US Flag Whipple Pennant 2.jpg

Antique 48 Star US Flag Whipple Pennant | An Extremely Rare and Fantastic Example | Circa 1909-1912

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Price: Call 618-553-2291, or email info@bonsellamericana.com
Frame Size (H x L): 33” x 18.5”
Flag Size (H x L): 23.5” x 9.5”   

Offered is a Whipple pennant printed on cotton, and dating to between 1909 and 1912.  Because the First Flag Act of 1777 did not specify an official star pattern, early flag makers were free to place the stars however they wished.  It was not until 1912 that an official star pattern was adopted via Executive Order 1556. 

In the years leading up to this Executive Order, many designs were considered for official adoption, one of the most famous of which was designed by Wayne Whipple of Philadelphia.  Whipple’s design includes thirteen center stars in the shape of a great star.  The thirteen center stars represent the original thirteen states admitted to the Union.  An inner ring of twenty-five stars surrounds the center stars, and it represent the states added to the Union between 1776 and 1876.  An outer ring of ten stars surrounds the inner ring, and it represent the states added to the Union after 1876.  Whipple purposely left large gaps in the outer ring, so that additional stars could be added thereto, as additional states entered the Union.  

Whipple submitted his design to a national contest and referred to it as the “Whipple Peace Flag,” in reference to the peaceful times preceding World War I.  Despite his design being selected as the winner out of over 500 entries and even President Taft’s interest in his design, the War Department instead specified that the star arrangement on forty-eight star flags should be a rectilinear 8-8-8-8-8-8 pattern.  As result, in 1912, President Taft issued Executive Order 1556, and thus established the rectilinear star placement and proportions of the flag.  Because of this alternative adoption, surviving examples of flags and pennants, showcasing the Whipple pattern, are extremely rare and desirable.  

The forty-eight star flag represents the inclusion of New Mexico and Arizona to the Union.  New Mexico was admitted on January 6th, 1912, and Arizona was admitted on February 14th, 1912.  The forty-eight star flag became official on July 4th, 1912.  Presidents Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower all served under this flag.  World Wars I and II, and the Korean War were all fought under it. 

The forty-eight star flag was official for forty-seven years up until July 4th, 1959, the time at which the forty-nine star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of Alaska in the Union.

Conservation Process: This pennant 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 pennant, it was first washed in a standard wash and then in a dye setting wash.  The pennant is positioned behind a UV resistant acrylic, and spaced apart therefrom using spacers.  The beautiful frame is a distressed gold.  

Condition Report: The canton of the pennant includes some minor fading and staining.  The stipes also include some minor staining.  Both of the ties are present in their entirety.  This example is among the best that have survived.  It displays wonderfully.

Collectability Level: The Great – Perfect for Rising Collectors  
Date of Origin: 1909-1912  
Number of Stars: 48
Associated State: Arizona  

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