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This rare flag of thirty-seven stars is a wonderfully appealing example of a post-Civil War era flag, made and cared for in a period of reconstruction and recovering optimism about the future of the United States.  The flag is stamped on the hoist and on the large center star "V Howell", presumably the original owner of the flag.  The extremely folky canton, with its large center star, a phalanx of surrounding stars that rotate or "dance" on their axis, and the obvious space left on the flag for the addition of new stars with the addition of new states, is unique.  The rich coloration of the canton and stripes, and the tan aged color of the cotton stars, is exemplary for a flag of this period.  The flag is entirely hand sewn, although there are places where machine stitching reinforces seams of the hand sewn stripes.  This is not at all uncommon, especially since it's clear that V. Howell was proud of the family flag and took great care to preserve it.  The canton is pieced from two lengths of blue wool bunting. The thread used to piece the canton has turned to a brown color, possibly from an original blue hue that oxidized.  This brown thread through the center seam of a canton is typical in wool flags from the Civil War and post-Civil War period.  There are a handful of flags from this period that form what is known among collectors as a "phalanx" pattern.  The use of the term dates to ancient Greek warfare, meaning a square military formation that forms to protect a center region.  Phalanx pattern flags are very rare.  Some are known to have an open center without a center star to protect.  This phalanx pattern flag is arranged to protect its center star, which represents Nebraska, fittingly central to the United States, with the ranks of soldier stars still to be filled.

Learn more about Center Stars Star Count:  37

Dates:  1867-1876

War Era:  None

Statehood:  Nebraska

Construction:  Wool with Cotton Stars

Catalog Number:  IAS-00257

Learn more about the classification of star patterns.

13 Six-Pointed Stars
in a Six-Pointed Great Star

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