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While 13 star flags have been made throughout our nation's history, certain patterns of the 13 star flag became popular, or faded from popularity, at different times in our history.  Surprisingly, patterns such as the Betsy Ross pattern of 13 stars in a circle only emerged after the American Centennial in 1876, and became most popular and prevalent at the time of the Bicentennial in 1976.  The 4-5-4 pattern is documented as having been used in 18th century, but no surviving period examples are thought to exist.  The pattern was used on US Navy boats in the period prior to the Civil War, but seems to have fallen out of use, being replaced by the 3-2-3-2-3 or Francis Hopkinson pattern.  By the time of the Centennial, both the 3-2-3-2-3 pattern and the scarcer yet somewhat more common 13 star medallion pattern emerged as the prevalent style.  By the time of this flag's construction, circa 1890 to 1910 (a timeframe estimate based on the use of zig-zag stitching, the style and irregularity of the stars, the imprecise cut of the flag, and the look and feel of the wool), flags in the 4-5-4 pattern were very rarely made.  In fact, I've actually seen more examples of the pattern that date to the Civil War and earlier than made in this later period.  As a result, the flag evokes a more primitive, early American feeling. The flag was most likely used as a yacht ensign, though it may have also been used on land as well.  The flag has no hoist, though there is evidence that there were tabs sewn to the hoist end of the flag in order to affix it to its staff.  The flag is unusually small for an antique pieced and sewn flag. As a result of both its small size and rare star pattern, the flag is a fantastic example from the late 19th- to early 20th century.


 
Learn more about the patterns of 13 star American flags. Star Count:  13

Dates:  1890-1910

War Era:  None

Statehood:  Original 13 Colonies

Construction:  Wool Bunting with Cotton Stars

Catalog Number:  IAS-00344

   

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34 Stars, Hand Sewn
A Silk Union Company Presentation Color


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