Scarce 40 Star Antique Flag | Official for Only Six Days | South Dakota Statehood | Circa 1889

40 Star Antique Flag
2. 40 Star Antique Flag.jpg
40 Star Antique Flag
2. 40 Star Antique Flag.jpg

Scarce 40 Star Antique Flag | Official for Only Six Days | South Dakota Statehood | Circa 1889


Frame Size (H x L): 22.5” x 31”
Flag Size (H x L): 13.5” x 21”

Offered is an extremely scarce forty-star parade flag, dating to 1889.  Its stars are arranged in a 7-7-6-6-7-7 pattern.  The stars in the first, third, and fifth rows are canted to the 11:00 position, while the stars in the second, fourth, and sixth rows are canted to the 1:00 position.  This flag is printed on cotton.

In 1889, the Dakota Territory was split it into two states: North Dakota and South Dakota, and they were both admitted on November 2nd, 1889.  Just six days later, on November 8th, 1889 Montana was admitted as the forty-first state (making the forty-star flag almost immediately obsolete).  And then, just three days later, on November 11th, 1889, Washington was admitted as the forty-second states (making the forty-one star flag almost immediately obsolete).  As a result of this rapid succession of state admissions, flag makers made large quantities of forty-two star flags, but hardly any forty or forty-one star flags.  In fact, there are only a few known examples of printed forty-star flags in circulation, and thus they are very desirable to even the most advanced of collectors.        

Of these known examples, printed forty-star flags come in four varieties.  The first variety is as shown in the images.  The second variety exhibits a 7-6-7-7-6-7 star pattern, and includes elongated stars and an unusual canton that extends down along the hoist strip.  The third variety is printed on coarse glazed cotton and exhibits a 7-6-7-7-6-7 star pattern.  And the fourth variety, which dates to 1868, is associated with the Greenback Party and is illustrated as item 343 in the Threads of History.  It includes a medallion star pattern, part of which is covered by an overstamp of currency.

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 a UV resistant acrylic, and spaced apart therefrom using spacers. 

Frame: This flag is in an antique gold frame.  It dates to the end of the 19th century. 

Condition Report: As shown in the images, this flag exhibits some slight fading and a small tear under its canton.  Despite this, this flag still presents well.       

Collectability Level: The Best – Perfect for Advanced Collectors   
Date of Origin: 1889  
Number of Stars: 40 
Associated War: Indian Wars (1860-1890)   
Associated State: South Dakota   

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