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This rare flag is an early and fine homemade example of the Betsy Ross pattern 13 star flag.  It's difficult to precisely date flags such as this because of its homemade qualities.  It certainly dates to at least the early 20th century, and most likely to the end of the 19th century.  Further analysis at the textile level of the wool and thread is necessary for a more definitive dating of the flag.  What is certain, though, is that the workmanship is exceptional and the flag itself is a very beautiful, early and scarce example of the Betsy Ross pattern.  The canton and stripes of the flag are made of a fine woven wool bunting, with the canton being two pieces stitched together.  The entire flag is hand sewn.  The flag maker chose to use colored, matched threads for the stitching, using the appropriate color in the appropriate areas to match the stitching to the fabric being stitched, resulting in "hidden" seams.

The stars of the flag are beautifully hand embroidered.  The flag maker took the approach of making each of the stars separately, by first embroidering them onto a piece of white fabric, and then carefully hand stitching the embroidered stars to the front of the canton.  The placement of the stars is haphazard, with some of them nestled together and others with space between them.  The silvery silken thread used for the embroidered stars is beautiful and eye catching, and causes the stars to shine even in low light.  The flag itself is very small, just 19" by 30", which makes it one of the smallest entirely hand sewn antique flags that I've ever encountered.  It is in remarkable condition, and was found in a home in Maine several years ago during an estate sale.  Early homemade flags in the Betsy Ross pattern are exceedingly rare, and this is a very fine example that demonstrates outstanding workmanship in its construction.

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

Dates:  Late 19th to Early 20th Century

War Era:  None

Statehood:  Original Thirteen Colonies

Construction:  Hand Sewn Wool with Hand Embroidered Stars

Catalog Number:  IAS-00301


30 Star Flag and 6 Star Pennant
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