Antique Sons of Veterans Ribbon with Great Star Pattern

Antique Sons of Veterans Ribbon with Great Star Pattern
278. Ribbon - Copy.jpg
Antique Sons of Veterans Ribbon with Great Star Pattern 2.jpg
6. Medium Gold with Flat Profile.jpg
Medium Frames.JPG
Antique Sons of Veterans Ribbon with Great Star Pattern
278. Ribbon - Copy.jpg
Antique Sons of Veterans Ribbon with Great Star Pattern 2.jpg
6. Medium Gold with Flat Profile.jpg
Medium Frames.JPG

Antique Sons of Veterans Ribbon with Great Star Pattern

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Frame Size (H x L): 16” x 10”
Ribbon Size (H x L): 8” x 2”

Offered is a Sons of Union Veterans ribbon.  The Sons of Union Veterans is a fraternal organization and the legal successor to the Grand Army of the Republic.  It was founded in 1881.  This ribbon was made for camp number 15, located in Harmony, Maine. 

The ribbon includes a downwardly slanted flag.  Its stars are arranged in a "Great Star" pattern, one of the rarest and most beautiful patterns encountered in antique flags.  The Great Star pattern is a large star made of smaller stars.  The smaller stars may be a variety of sizes, and may be canted in a various directions.  Such a pattern was perfectly acceptable, as prior to President Taft's Executive Order 1556 in 1912, flag makers were free to place the stars however they wished.

US Naval Captain Samuel Reid is credited with designing the Great Star pattern in 1818.  Captain Reid was an officer in the US Navy and commanded the privateer General Armstrong during the War of 1812.  Andrew Jackson credited Captain Reid's heroism in delaying the British Squadron in the Battle of Fayal, and aiding in General Jackson's defense of New Orleans.  Captain Reid and his crew were greeted as heroes. 

The Second Flag Act, passed in 1794, stated that the flag would have 15 stars and 15 stripes, in response to Vermont and Kentucky being added to the Union.  Knowing that this approach would not be sustainable, with Captain Reid's help, Congress passed the Flag Act of 1818, specifying that the flag should only have 13 stripes, but should have a star for each state admitted to the Union.  It further specified that the addition of each star should be on the Fourth of July following its respective state's admission. 

Captain Reid played a significant role in the Flag Act of 1818, and recommended a basic design of 13 horizontal alternating stripes in honor of the 13 colonies, and a star in honor of each state.  He further recommended several potential star patterns, including twenty-stars in the shape of a larger star for general use.  Reid suggested this pattern to make the flag consistent and easily identifiable, particularly at long distances and at sea.  His star pattern recommendation was not ultimately included in the Act, nor was any star pattern, but Captain Reid is universally credited with designing the Great Star pattern.  Its use peaked in the 1840s, but it was also used during the Civil War and occasionally during Centennial Celebrations.  Its last known commercial use was on a thirty-eight star flag.

Conservation Process: This ribbon 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 ribbon, it was first washed in a standard wash and then in a dye setting wash.  The ribbon is positioned behind Conservation Clear Acrylic (standard) or behind Optium Museum Acrylic (per request).

Frame: This offering is in our Medium Gold with Flat Profile Frame.  However, it can be reframed and would look great using any one of our Medium Frames, which are shown in the final image.  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 ribbon has some minor fading, but overall is in excellent condition.

Collectability Level: The Good – Perfect for Beginning Collectors and Gifts 

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