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Six pointed stars on American Flags are a very rare trait, shared only by a handful of known examples.  The same can be said of flags with cantons arranged in a six-pointed great star configuration.  This configuration of stars on a flag of pieced and sewn construction is known on less than four or five surviving flags. The pattern is very similar to the star pattern seen on the official Great Seal of the United States.  The first die of the Great Seal, cast from brass in 1792, featured a "glory" of six pointed stars arranged to form a single six pointed star.  Although the "glory" on the Great Seal is oriented to with a single star at the top, the "glory" pattern on this flag is rotated 90 degrees.   The flag's hand sewn construction and materials are consistent with the second half of the 19th century. A charming and clever technique used by the seamstress to create the six-pointed stars involved hand stitching two triangles, one overlapping the other, to form each star. 

The flag is single-sided and the front of the flag has slightly faded to a pale blue, indicating the front was displayed and exposed to air and light for some period of time. The reverse of the canton fabric is a bit oxidized and faded, though the fabric under the stars oxidized at a different rate and is a brighter blue.  The fabric beneath the linen stars, being protected by the stars themselves, is closest to the original color of the canton.  The wool used for the flag is an extremely fine and tight weave.  The flag is stitched with very small, fine quilting stitches.  The even rows, fine stitching, and presence of the wool's selvedge at the top and bottom of the flag, are all evidence that its maker was a very experienced seamstress. Beautifully proportioned with its elongated stripes and striking canton, the flag is one of the most unusual and unique early thirteen star American flags.

Evidence of aging and exposure of the front of the flag to light and oxidation over a long period of time.

Learn more about methods of creating stars. Star Count:  13

Dates:  Civil War to Centennial Era

War Era:  Possibly Civil War

Statehood:  Original 13 Colonies

Construction:  Wool with Linen Stars

Catalog Number:  IAS-00251

Learn more about the fabrics used in flag construction.
Learn more about the many patterns of 13 Star flags.

48 Stars, Homemade Flag
with Hand Knitted Tassels

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