13 Star Antique Flag | Made to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg | Circa 1913

50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg
50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

13 Star Antique Flag | Made to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg | Circa 1913


Frame Size (H x L): 16” x 14” 
Flag Size (H x L): 2.5” x 4” and Affixed to a 7” Staff

Offered is an outstanding thirteen-star parade flag.  It was made for the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and includes the following overprint:

Compliments of
Skelly Post #9
Penna. Dept. G.A.R.   

The Grand Army of the Republic (“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.  In 1867, the Gettysburg Civil War veterans organized the Corporal Johnston H. Skelly Post No. 9 of the GAR.  Corporal Skelly was a Gettysburg resident and a member of the Company F, 87th Pennsylvania Volunteers, who fought at the Battle of Winchester in 1863.    

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. 

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: The antique Eastlake frame dates to between 1870 and 1880.   

Condition Report: This flag is in excellent condition.   

Collectability Level: The Great – Perfect for Rising Collectors
Date of Origin: 1913  
Number of Stars: 13
Associated War: The Civil War (1861-1865)  
Associated State: Original 13 Colonies

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