36 Star Antique Flag with Medallion and Outlined Center Star | Likely the Only Remaining Example | Nevada Statehood | Circa 1864-1867

36 Star Antique Flag
36 Star Antique Flag
36 Star Antique Flag
36 Star Antique Flag

36 Star Antique Flag with Medallion and Outlined Center Star | Likely the Only Remaining Example | Nevada Statehood | Circa 1864-1867


Price: Call 618-553-2291, or email info@bonsellamericana.com 
Frame Size (H x L): 17” x 22.5”
Flag Size (H x L): 7” x 12.5”

Offered is a thirty-six star antique flag printed on glazed cotton.  Its stars are arranged in a medallion pattern.  This particular medallion includes a large star in the middle, a first ring of stars surrounding the large star, a second ring of stars surrounding the first ring, and three flanking stars in each corner surrounding the second ring.  The first ring includes five stars, each of which is associated with a point of the center star.  The second ring includes eighteen stars.  This is the first time that we have encountered this particular pattern and flag.  It is likely the only remaining example.

The large star in the middle is sometimes referred to as a “center star.”  A center star is different than a great star, a term used to describe a star made up of smaller stars.  A center star is almost always positioned in the very middle of the canton.  The rest of the stars are then positioned around the center star, and form various different patterns.  The center star represents the newest state added to the Union (e.g., Nevada in the case of this thirty-six star flag).  Center stars are typically larger than the surrounding stars, and typically are either solid or solid with a single halo.  However, the center star of this flag is an outlined star or akin to only a halo.  Such a center star is quite unusual, and perhaps even unique to this flag.         

The stars of this flag are particularly crude.  Many of the stars are missing one or more of their respective legs.  And some of the stars are so crude as to be almost circular.  The stripes are closer to orange than red.  Such a color is a result of the use of either madder or cochineal to create the red dye, and is common in flags dating between 1850 and 1880. 

The thirty-six star flag represents the inclusion of Nevada to the Union.  Nevada was admitted on October 31st, 1864, and this flag became official on July 4th, 1865.  Nevada was originally part of the Utah Territory beginning in 1850, became its own territory in 1861, and became its own state in 1864.  The timing of Nevada's inclusion was politically and economically based.  For political reasons, Nevada was admitted to the Union just eight days prior to President Lincoln's re-election bid against General George McClellan.  Such timing was meant to benefit Lincoln and his fellow Republicans.  For economic reasons, Nevada was included as part of the Union to help it pay off the country’s war debts.  Economically, Nevada was particularly attractive at the time, because of its significant silver mining industry.  Nevada expanded its borders in 1866 when the western Utah Territory was added to its eastern side, and further expanded in 1867 when a portion Pah-Ute County in the Arizona Territory was added to its southern side.  

The thirty-six star flag was the official flag for the last six months of the Civil War, and was used by the military during that time.  It was also the official flag during a portion of the Reconstruction era.  Ultimately, the thirty-six star flag was official until July 4th, 1867, the time at which the thirty-seven star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of Nebraska 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 Conservation Clear Acrylic (standard) or behind Optium Museum Acrylic (per request).

This flag is in an outstanding maple burl veneer frame.  Like the flag, this frame is particularly collectible and desirable.  The frame dates to between 1840 and 1860, while the gold inner sight liner is a newer addition.   

Condition Report: This flag exhibits some yellowing and staining throughout its surface.  Many of our clients prefer flags that show their age, and this flag does exactly that.  It displays well.

Collectability Level: The Extraordinary – Museum Quality Offerings
Date of Origin: 
Number of Stars: 
Associated War: 
Civil War (1861-1865) 
Associated State: 

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