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Of the many fantastic star patterns one can find on early American flags, there are unique or nearly unique examples where the maker incorporated completely whimsical and unique designs onto their flags. This 37 star flag, which dates to between 1867 and 1876, is one such flag. A similar flag with 34 stars, having five stars in the center and only single stars in the border spaces in between the corner clusters, was held in the famed Mastai Collection. It is pictured in their book on page 109 in a chapter called "The Starry Flower". So rare is this pattern that other than the Mastai example, which is similar but with some differences, such as having all stars the same size and with five points, I have not encountered another in 15 years of searching and collecting. The maker clearly wanted to have some symmetry in the design, and cleverly determined that to achieve this with a 37 star flag, they could add two stars into the spaces between the corner clusters at the top and bottom, and could use a six-pointed star in the center, surrounded by six stars. This enabled them to maintain symmetry, resulting in a beautiful "Starry Flower" flag. The canton rests on the "blood stripe", but this clearly is not a war-related flag. The exuberant pattern and homemade character of the flag, being made of cotton with a cornflower blue canton of high quality polished cotton fabric, is indicative of a flag most likely made to celebrate the Centennial in 1876. Colorado came into the Union on August 1, 1876, becoming the 38th state. In anticipation of this, most flags known to date to the Centennial have 38 stars, though the Centennial year is the end of the 37 star era, and there are also 37 star flags known to be made for the Centennial, though flags in the 37 star count are are more scarce.

Learn more about the great variety of Star Patterns on American Flags. Star Count: 37

Date: 1867-1876

Era: Centennial

Statehood: Nebraska

Construction: Cotton

Catalog Number: IAS-00534


The Starry Constellation, 37 Stars, 1867-1876

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