13 Star Antique American Flag | Includes an Exceptional Snowflake Medallion Pattern | Dates to the Civil War or Earlier | Circa 1848-1865

13 Star Antique American Flag | Includes an Exceptional Snowflake Medallion Pattern
13 Star Antique American Flag | Includes an Exceptional Snowflake Medallion Pattern
13 Star Antique American Flag | Includes an Exceptional Snowflake Medallion Pattern
13 Star Antique American Flag | Includes an Exceptional Snowflake Medallion Pattern

13 Star Antique American Flag | Includes an Exceptional Snowflake Medallion Pattern | Dates to the Civil War or Earlier | Circa 1848-1865

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Price: Call 618-553-2291, or email info@bonsellamericana.com 
Frame Size (H x L): 15.5” x 17.5”  
Flag Size (H x L):  4” x 6.25”   

Offered is a thirteen-star antique parade flag, dating to between 1848 and 1865 and exhibiting a snowflake medallion pattern.  It is printed on coarse cotton.  The snowflake includes a center star, an inner ring of stars around the center star, and an outer ring of stars around the inner ring.  The stars in the inner and outer rings are positioned, such that they seem to be exploding outwards from the center star.  The overall pattern looks like an exploding firework. 

This pattern is as rare as it is beautiful.  The rarity of this pattern in combination with its construction suggests that it may date to as early as 1848 and as late as 1865.  It is quite unusual for an American parade flag to potentially date to the 1840s or 1850s.   Prior to 1861, Americans did not typically display flags for patriotic purposes, and even the military did not regularly display it.  This is because it was not until 1834 that the army field artillery was permitted to carry the traditional US flag, and not until 1841 that regiments carried it.  Most flags made prior to the Civil War were used to mark ships and were large in scale.  For these reasons, flags made prior to the Civil War account for only around 1-in-100 flags made in the 19th century, and examples small enough to display are even more scarce.  It was not until 1861 that flags were produced in large numbers, and private citizens began waving them in public and displaying them at home.

The original use of the thirteen-star flag dates to June 14th, 1777, the time at which the Continental Congress adopted a resolution creating the first official flag.  The resolution stated, “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”  Thirteen-star flags were official from 1777-1795, but have been in use ever since. 

Small US Navy boats used it as the ensign from 1795 until 1916.  Thirteen-star flags were also flown at the time of George Washington’s death in 1799 and to celebrate the nation’s 50th anniversary in 1824.  They were also flown in 1824 in honor of General Lafayette’s return to the US for his nationwide tour.  Celebrations for his Revolutionary War service were held in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, along with many locations in the southern and western states. 

Further, thirteen-star flags were also common during the Mexican War in 1846-1848 and the Civil War in 1861-1865.  They were both relatively close in time to the revolution, and were very patriotic times, particularly during the Civil War time period when flag use became much more common than had ever previously been the case.  Thirteen-star flags were also flown during the centennial celebrations, which were held across the country and, most notably, in Philadelphia at the Centennial International Exhibition. 

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 Conservation Clear Acrylic (standard) or behind Optium Museum Acrylic (per request).

Frame: 
This flag is in a three-tiered antique frame.  The outer tier is made of walnut, and the inner tiers are gold.  It is an outstanding frame and dates to between 1860 and 1880.      

Condition Report: The flag exhibits some fading, but overall is in excellent condition.                

Collectability Level: The Best – Perfect for Advanced Collectors  
Date of Origin: 1848-1865
Number of Stars: 13 
Associated War: The Civil War (1861-1865)    
Associated State: Original 13 Colonies

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