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Period flags of 27 stars are very rare.  Aside from the fact that this is a pre-Civil War star count, made during a period where Americans generally did not produce homemade flags in great numbers prior to the great patriotic fervor inspired by the Civil War, it was only an official star count for one year: 1845-1846. In addition to being a rare star count, the form of the medallion is very beautiful and, given the scarcity of 27 star flags, is certainly unique.  One can consider the pattern in several ways, and others who have seen the flag have offered many interpretations of the design.  One is of an elliptical double medallion, with four corner stars and one star in the center.  Another is of an ellipse surrounding a diamond, surrounding a central star.  Another is of a symmetrical pattern of vertical rows:  4-3-4-5-4-3-4.  Another could be of a cross of stars, corner to opposite corner, with four stars above and below the cross, and three stars to the left and right of the cross.  Regardless of how you consider the flag, any or all of which are reasonable, the overall composition is wonderful.

The cotton flag is entirely hand sewn with what appears to be linen thread.  Cotton would have been an expected material for use in homemade flags of the period, since it was less expensive than wool bunting and readily available in general stores and emporiums of the day.  The stars of the flag are double-appliqué, and, along with the thin hoist, are made of the same cotton material as the white stripes.  Vertical striations in the vegetable-dyed fabric indicate that the top four red stripes were cut together from the same length of fabric, and lower three red stripes were cut together from the same length of fabric.  The selvedge of the fabric is correctly placed at the top of the upper red stripe and the bottom of the lower red stripe, preventing the edges from fraying and demonstrating that an experienced seamstress produced the flag.  The fly end of the flag is folded and sewn toward what we consider to be the front of the flag today, although in that period it was equally acceptable to display the flag in either direction.  The flag was tacked to a staff at one point, and the square holes left by square tacks, possibly upholstery tacks, still hold their square shape when examined closely.  Truly a beautiful example of a rare and early American flag.
 


 

Learn more about the Medallion pattern. Star Count:  27

Dates:  1845

War Era:  Mexican War

Statehood:  Florida

Construction:  Cotton

Catalog Number:  IAS-00087

Learn more about rare star counts.
   

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42 Star Gold Painted
Double Ellipse
circa 1890


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