Antique James G. Blaine Campaign Flag | Features 38 Stars in a Medallion Configuration | Circa 1884

Antique James G. Blaine Campaign Flag with 38 Stars
Antique James G. Blaine Campaign Flag with 38 Stars
3. James G. Blaine Campaign Flag.jpg
4. James G. Blaine Campaign Flag.jpg
5. James Blaine Photo.JPG
6. James G. Blaine and John A. Logan.JPG
7. Large Distressed Black and Gold.jpg
8. Medium Frames.JPG
9. Large Frames.JPG
Antique James G. Blaine Campaign Flag with 38 Stars
Antique James G. Blaine Campaign Flag with 38 Stars
3. James G. Blaine Campaign Flag.jpg
4. James G. Blaine Campaign Flag.jpg
5. James Blaine Photo.JPG
6. James G. Blaine and John A. Logan.JPG
7. Large Distressed Black and Gold.jpg
8. Medium Frames.JPG
9. Large Frames.JPG

Antique James G. Blaine Campaign Flag | Features 38 Stars in a Medallion Configuration | Circa 1884

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Price: Call 618-553-2291, or email info@bonsellamericana.com  
Frame Size (H x L): 28” x 37”
Flag Size (H x L): 18” x 27”   

Offered is an antique James G. Blaine campaign flag, printed on cotton.  The canton of this flag features a portrait of Blaine.  He is surrounded by a ring of stars, and the ring is surrounded by flanking stars.  Below the canton is a patent marking, stating that this design was patented on September 4th, 1883. 

A similar example of this flag is documented in the Threads of History.  The referenced example is shown as item 527 and was held in the Michael DiSalle Collection, as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s holdings.  The Threads of History was written by Herbert Ridgeway Collins, who was the curator of the Division of Political History at the Smithsonian Institute.        

Blaine was the presidential nominee for the Republican Party in 1884, and he ran against Grover Cleveland, who was the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party.  Cleveland narrowly defeated Blaine.  Cleveland won 219 electoral votes and 48.9% of the popular vote, while Blaine won 182 electoral votes and 48.3% of the popular vote.      

While this flag features Blaine, another similar flag of this era features his running mate, John A. Logan (item 528).  In addition, there is also a similar flag that features Cleveland (item 525), and yet another similar flag that featured his running mate, Thomas A. Hendricks (item 526). 

The canton of this Blaine flag rests on a red stripe, instead of a white stripe as generally is standard.  This red stripe may be referred to as a war stripe or a blood stripe.  In some instances, the war stripe was purposely placed under the canton and symbolized that the nation was at war.  In other instances, a red stripe under the canton may have just been placed there on accident, as someone not familiar with the details of the flag had a 50-50 chance of placing the canton and stripes correctly.  In the case of this flag, the latter explanation is likely the accurate one. 

The thirty-eight star flag represents the inclusion of Colorado to the Union.  Colorado was admitted on August 1st, 1876 and this flag became official on July 4th, 1877.  Presidents Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, and Harrison all served under this flag.  Colorado became known as the “Centennial State,” a result of becoming official just twenty-eight days after the centennial.  The official star count for US flags in 1876 was the thirty-seven star flag.  However, it was common for flag makers to produce anticipatory flags in advance of their official date, making the thirty-eight star flag—and for historical reasons, the thirteen star flag—the most common flags flown during the centennial celebrations of 1876.       

The thirty-eight star flag was official until July 4th, 1890, the time at which the forty-three star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, and Idaho to 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).

Frame: This offering is in our Large Distressed Black and Gold Frame.  However, it can be reframed and would look great using any one of our Medium or Large Frames, which are shown in the final two images.  The pricing associated with the different framing options may vary.  Reframing of an offering may delay shipment by up to two weeks.  

Condition Report: As shown in the photos, this flag exhibits some fading throughout, and exhibits some staining—particularly running along its fly edge.  Still, it is a crisp and attractive example.         

Collectability Level: The Best – Perfect for Advanced Collectors  
Date of Origin: 1884    
Number of Stars: 38   
Associated War: The Indian Wars (1860-1890)   
Associated State: Colorado 

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