Rare 34 Star Antique Flag with a Global Star Pattern | Kansas Statehood | Circa 1861-1863

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

Rare 34 Star Antique Flag with a Global Star Pattern | Kansas Statehood | Circa 1861-1863

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Price: Call 618-553-2291, or email info@bonsellamericana.com
Frame Size (H x L): 12.5” x 16.5”  
Flag Size (H x L): 5.25” x 8.75”  

Offered is a thirty-four star flag printed on glazed cotton.  Its first and sixth rows include five stars, and its second through fourth rows include six stars.  The first and sixth rows are offset inwards relative to the other rows.  In combination, the star pattern looks similar to a globe, hence the name global star pattern for this particular layout. 

This flag is available in two styles.  The first style is like this one with the stars facing upwards.  The second style is similar in all respects, but its stars face downwards.  This difference between the first and second styles was likely the result inconsistencies in the manufacturing process, in that the stamp for the canton was probably sometimes in the “up position” and other times in the “down position.”  It is likely that the flag maker did not consider any orientation of the stars to be upwards or downwards, as flags made during the time period had very few conventions (outside of the basic colors, number of stars, and number of rows).           

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.   

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 outstanding multi-tiered antique frame.  It dates to between 1860 and 1880.  

Condition Report: This flag exhibits some staining and foxing, particularly rightwards of the canton.   

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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