34 Star Antique Flag with a 5-6-6-6-6-5 Pattern | Kansas Statehood | Circa 1861-1863

34 Star Antique American Flag
34 Star Antique American Flag
34 Star Antique American Flag
34 Star Antique American Flag

34 Star Antique Flag with a 5-6-6-6-6-5 Pattern | Kansas Statehood | Circa 1861-1863

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Frame Size (H x L): 21” x 26”  
Flag Size (H x L): 11” x 15”

Offered is a thirty-four star antique flag printed on glazed cotton.  Its stars are arranged in a 5-6-6-6-6-5 pattern.  The stars in the first and sixth rows are canted in various directions.  In contrast, the stars in the other rows are tumbling relative to one another, creating a dancing effect between the stars as they appear to be partnering and dancing with one another.  When the second through fifth rows are instead viewed as columns, the stars are pointing either consistently upwards or consistently downwards.             

This flag is square in its proportions, instead of elongated.  The First Flag Act of 1777 did not specify the dimensions or proportions of the American flag.  And such freedom extended up until 1912, the time at which President Taft issued Executive Order 1556, establishing official proportions.    

The stripes of this flag 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 orange color of the “red” stripes is attractive and a desirable to collectors.   

The thirty-four star flag represents the inclusion of Kansas to the Union.  Kansas was admitted on January 29th, 1861, and this flag became official on July 4th, 1861.  President Lincoln served, and the Civil War was fought, under this star count.  Many thirty-four star flags predate the first shots of the Civil War in 1861, as flag makers began producing them upon the admission of the Kansas, instead of the time at which the flag was officially admitted to the Union later in the same year.  The thirty-four star flag was official until July 4th 1863, the time at which the thirty-five star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of West Virginia in the Union. 

Thirty-four and thirty-five star flags were the official flags for the majority of the Civil War, and for this reason, both are extremely collectible.  Flags associated with this time period (1861-1865) and earlier are among the rarest and most desirable of all US flags.  Prior to the Civil War, Americans did not typically display flags for patriotic purposes.  In fact, even the military did not regularly use the flag, as 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.  Instead, most flags prior to the Civil War were used to mark ships, and were massive in scale so as to be seen from large distances. 

The surge in small US flags for patriotic purposes began primarily with onset of the Civil War.  This flag was made during this surge and is a rare survivor.  In fact, this is the only example of this style of flag that we have encountered.    

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 an antique frame with a walnut outer tier and a gold inner tier.  It dates to between 1860 and 1880.  

Condition Report: This flag exhibits some staining and foxing.  Its stripes and canton are faded.  The hoist edge of the flag include three tears, indicating that this flag was originally attached to a staff with nails.  Despite these issues, this flag displays well and has the Civil War era appearance that our clients desire.    

Collectability Level: The Best – Perfect for Advanced Collectors
Date of Origin: 1861-1863  
Number of Stars: 34
Associated War: The Civil War (1861-1865)  
Associated State: Kansas

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