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Flag production at the outset of the Civil War was driven by a surge of patriotic sentiment aimed at preserving the Union. Flags from this era symbolized unity and, in some cases, solidarity among the Union States, particularly when stars representing seceded states were purposefully omitted.

The anticipation of the Union's expansion greatly influenced flag design, especially leading up to and during the early stages of the Civil War. The admission of Kansas as the 34th state in January 1861 was a significant event that resulted in the creation of flags featuring 34 stars. Among these, the flags adopting a medallion pattern hold a special place for their symbolic and aesthetic appeal. This pattern typically showcases a large central star, encircled by a ring of stars, with additional stars placed in the corners of the flag. The design was not only visually striking but also rich in symbolism, underscoring the unity of the states around a central, guiding principle. The central star could symbolize Kansas, the newly admitted state, or the federal government, reinforcing the theme of national unity. This flag's highly unusual single large ring and the five interior stars flanking the large central star may, in fact, be unique.<

Flags of the Civil War era, particularly those bearing the 34-star Medallion pattern, carry immense historical significance. They were carried into battle, flown over fortifications and government buildings, and displayed in public settings as symbols of patriotism or in mourning. These flags served as rallying points for both soldiers and civilians, embodying the cause for which the Union fought. The medallion pattern, with its focus on collective unity, offered a stark contrast to the flags of the Confederacy, which represented division.

Due to their rarity and profound connection to a pivotal period in American history, Civil War-era flags, especially those produced before or in the initial years of the conflict, are highly valued. This beautiful 34-star flag featuring a Medallion pattern exemplifies American craftsmanship and patriotic fervor, representing a nation on the brink of profound transformation. For collectors and historians, these flags are treasured not just as collectibles but as direct links to the dramatic events that shaped America's past.

The preservation and academic exploration of these flags yield deep insights into the Civil War's social, political, and military dimensions. Each flag tells a story of the collective hopes, fears, and aspirations of the people who lived through one of the most challenging periods in American history. Thus, the 34-star Medallion pattern flag stands as a symbol of the enduring American values of unity and resilience in the face of adversity.


 
Learn more about the use of advertising overprints and writing on early American flags. Star Count: 34

Date: 1861-1863

Era: Civil War Era

Statehood: Kansas

Construction: Hand Sewn Cotton

Catalog Number: IAS-00552

   

 

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