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Some of the most desirable and visually intriguing advertising overprint flags from the late 19th century are the Hop Bitters flags. These small paper flags were included along with sales of bottles of Hop Bitters, a medicinal concoction touted to be an effective remedy for a range of maladies and discomforts. Containing alcohol and botanicals, Bitters have been used since ancient times. The fantastic overprinted text on this flag is indicative of the advertising styles of the late 19th century, featuring a large variety of fonts, text sizes and styles. As you can see from the writing, the Hop Bitters concoction could "Cure all Diseases of the Stomach, Bowels, Blood, Liver, Kindey & Urinary Organs, as well as Nervousness, Sleeplessness, Female Complaints & Drunkenness." Pretty powerful stuff! There are varieties of these, some of which are missing the fantastic "$1000 IN GOLD!" promise, some of which have simpler, smaller fonts, come of which are missing the reverse-printed "A MEDICINE NOT A DRINK". This example combines the best of the best for an example, including the "THE GREAT APPETIZER" in the canton, and the endearing "Keep this for the Children." on the hoist. Who wouldn't want to keep this happy flag on a stick for their Children? Who would want to throw away an American flag? This is an example of great American advertising, complete with sensational claims and a clear appeal to American patriotism at the height of the Centennial period.


 
Learn more about the use of advertising overprints and writing on early American flags. Star Count: 13

Date: 1880

Era: Centennial

Statehood: Original Thirteen Colonies

Construction: Paper

Catalog Number: IAS-00536

   

 

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