|13 star American national parade flag, printed on coarse, glazed cotton and affixed to its original staff. Made to celebrate our nation’s centennial of Independence in 1876, the flag has a medallion pattern canton that consists of a large center star, surrounded by a wreath of eight stars, with a flanking star in each corner. This was a popular centennial design.
13 star flags have been flown throughout our nation’s history for a variety of purposes. In addition to their use at the centennial, 13 star flag were hoisted at other patriotic events, including Lafayette’s visit in 1824-25, the sesquicentennial in 1926, and July 4th celebrations. They were displayed during the Civil War, to reference past struggles for American liberty and victory over oppression, and were used by 19th century politicians while campaigning for the same reason. The U.S. Navy used the 13 star count on small boats until 1916, because it was easier to discern fewer stars at a distance on a small flag. Commercial flag-makers mirrored this practice and some private ships flew 13 star flags during the same period as the Navy. The use of yachting ensigns with a wreath of 13 stars surrounding a fouled anchor, which allowed pleasure boats to bypass customs between 1848 and 1980, persists today without an official purpose.
Mounting: The flag was mounted and framed in our own conservation department, which is led by masters degree trained staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples; more than anyone worldwide.
The softwood molding has press-decorated designs, fluted edges, and dates to the last quarter of the 19th century. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.
Condition: There is minor pigment loss and there is a tiny hole in the 1st white stripe. There is extremely minor foxing and staining. many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.