Flags that predate the
Civil War are very rare. Of those few that have
survived, many are very large flags intended for use on
ships. Very small flag that predate the Civil War
are extremely scarce, and seldom ever encountered.
This particular flag, at just 5-1/2 inches x 8-1/2
inches, is the smallest hand sewn flag I'm aware of from
the first half of the 19th century. Made of hand sewn
silk, the flag has 26 delicately painted white stars.
A note on the scrapbook page where the flag was
preserved reads "Made by Mary R. Blair, A.D. 1836".
The period of 26 stars, from January 26, 1837 to March
3, 1845, saw a popular surge of flags made in the Great
Star pattern, also known as the Grand Luminary pattern.
The small, delicate hoist and whip-stitched grommets,
charming proportions, rich coloration, and folky painted
Great Star combine to form a beautiful and rare early