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This pattern of a wreath of 12 stars surrounding a single center star is known as alternately as the 3rd Maryland Pattern or the Cowpens Pattern after the Battle of Cowpens, a decisive battle of the American Revolution of 1781 won by Brigadier General Daniel Morgan.  The star configuration is seldom found on antique American flags of the 19th century and this particular example is an exceptional example of the type.  The center star of the flag is unusually large compared to the twelve smaller stars that comprise the wreath.  Each star is hand sewn, and the stars in the wreath are not much larger than a half dollar in size.  A stenciled number 5 on the hoist of the flag indicates the flag's size, at five feet, which also is unusually small for a sewn flag of the period.  The blue of the canton has slightly faded and taken on a moderate tinge of gray.  Although the specific history of the flag is lost, it was found in Decatur, Illinois, and given its construction and style, with machine sewn stripes and hand sewn stars, as well as its form, most likely dates to the period of the American Civil War.  The minimalist pattern and generous space that surrounds the outer wreath of stars gives the flag a wonderful understated, simple, and appealing look and feel.


Learn more about Center Stars Star Count:  13

Dates:  1861-1865

War Era:  American Civil War

Statehood:  Original 13 Colonies

Construction:  Cotton Stars on Wool Bunting

Catalog Number:  IAS-00183


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