48 Star Antique American Flag with a Staggered Star Pattern | Circa 1896-1918

48 Star Antique American Flag with a Staggered Star Pattern
48 Star Antique American Flag with Staggered Star Pattern 2.jpg
2. 3 Gold Image.jpg
Medium Frames.JPG
Large Frames.JPG
48 Star Antique American Flag with a Staggered Star Pattern
48 Star Antique American Flag with Staggered Star Pattern 2.jpg
2. 3 Gold Image.jpg
Medium Frames.JPG
Large Frames.JPG

48 Star Antique American Flag with a Staggered Star Pattern | Circa 1896-1918

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Frame Size (H x L): 23.5” x 33.5”
Flag Size (H x L): 13.5” x 23.5”   

Offered is a forty-eight star parade flag printed on glazed cotton.  This flag has a staggered star pattern, in that the rows are laterally offset relative to one another.  Early flag makers were free to arrange the stars on a flag’s canton in any manner they liked.  This changed, however, on June 24th, 1912, when President Taft issued Executive Order 1556, specifying that the star arrangement on forty-eight star flags should be a rectilinear 8-8-8-8-8-8 pattern.  Because flag makers had a great deal of freedom in how they made flags prior to this Executive Order, many forty-eight star flags do not have a linear and horizontal arrangement, particularly those made in the late 19th century and up until the conclusion of WWI.  Similar to the star arrangement, the proportions of the US flag were, likewise, not specified until 1912.  This flag, for example, is elongated in form compared to modern flags.   

The canton of this flag is cornflower blue.  In June of 1777, the Continental Congress passed the First Flag Act, which said the following: Resolved, That the Flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.  While this specified the number of stripes and the colors of the flag, it did not specify the exact shades of each color.  The exact shades were not officially specified until 1934.     

The earliest forty-eight star flags are anticipatory in nature, as flag makers would regularly predict how many states would be added, and when they would be added.  By the late 1890s, flag makers began anticipating and offering forty-eight star flags, evidence of which can be found in flag photographs dating to the 1890s, and on flags with dates printed directly thereon.

The forty-eight star flag represents the inclusion of New Mexico and Arizona to the Union.  New Mexico was admitted on January 6th, 1912, and Arizona was admitted on February 14th, 1912.  The forty-eight star flag became official on July 4th, 1912.  Presidents Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower all served under this flag.  World Wars I and II, and the Korean War were all fought under it. 

The forty-eight star flag was official for forty-seven years up until July 4th, 1959, the time at which the forty-nine star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of Alaska 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).

Frame: This offering is in our Large 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: This flag is slightly faded, but still very attractive.  Many collectors prefer flags that show their use and age.

Collectability Level: The Good – Perfect for Beginning Collectors and Gifts
Date of Origin: 1896-1918  
Number of Stars: 48
Associated War: WWI, WWII, and Korean War
Associated State: Arizona  

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