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This extraordinary flag is one of a very rare handful of beautiful early American flags in a pattern known as the Trumbull Pattern, consisting of a square box of 12 stars and a single center star.  Although it's debatable whether or not any original 13 star flags survive from the time of the American Revolution, Colonel John Trumbull, a famous American painter and personal aide-de-camp to George Washington, painted at least three revolutionary war battle scenes in the 1790's which depicted this style of flag.  As a result, the pattern has become known among flag collectors and scholars as the Trumbull Pattern. Ship's paintings from the early- to mid-19th century exist that depict this style of flag being flown from the masts and flag staffs of early American sailing ships.  It is likely, based on the traits of its construction, that this flag served as a ship's flag during its time of service.  The hoist of the flag consists of a sleeve through which a rope ran.  The rope eventually wore through the top and bottom of the sleeve hoist and it's likely that when this happened, the flag was taken out of service and stored.  The hoist is hand sewn to the flag using a coarse hemp thread.  The stars and stripes are entirely hand sewn and the stars are double-appliqué, which means that two sets of stars were cut and sewn, back to back, on each side of the blue canton.  The positioning and cut of the stars is very precise, which leads me to believe that the flag was manufactured by a cottage industry flag maker, rather than being homemade.  The large center star is magnificent and bold, and adds tremendous visual impact to an already marvelous and eye-catching canton.

The discovery of any new examples of antique 13 star flags in the Trumbull Pattern, especially one of such an early age and in such wonderful condition, is a thrilling occasion. Based on it's construction, materials and pattern, the evidence indicates that the flag is a pre-Civil War example that dates to the period of 1845-1860, or perhaps earlier.  As of the time of this writing, I'm aware of just seven examples of antique American flags with pieced-and-sewn construction in the Trumbull Pattern, three of which are in the Rare Flags collection. This flag was found in Florida and was carefully preserved, cherished and cared for by its finders before being acquired for the Rare Flags collection. It is a true treasure of the collection and a very special addition to the Rare Flags sub-collection of early 13 Star American Flags.


 
Learn more about flags with large Center Stars. Star Count:  13

Dates:  1845-1860

War Era:  None

Statehood:  Original 13 Colonies

Construction:  Wool Bunting with Cotton Stars

Catalog Number:  IAS-00357

   

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American Civil Flag
Revenue Cutter Service, c1890-1900


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