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Object Record

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Catalog Number 1968.196
Description American Flag Used By American Legion, 1890. Strips of red and white cotton linen fabric that have been sewn together to create a striped pattern with red stripes on top and bottom edges. Blue linen square sewn in upper right corner with 42 white stars (there is also a small square sewn on back of the upper right corner of a second layer of blue fabric). Stars are arranged in a circular pattern with three in center, surrounded by 10, surrounded by 21 stars, and then two sets of two stars in each corner. The blue linen on the back of each star has been cut away. Right edge has an opening in each corner (for hanging the flag) that are made by building up the thread and fabric. The linen has been reinforced/is a heavier weight on the edge it hangs from. Left side is hemmed. Looks to be hand sewn.
Object Name Flag
Collection 3D - Ceremonial Objects
Title American Flag Used By American Legion, 1890.
Date 1890
Creator Unknown
Role Fiber Artist
Inscription Text none
Notes "42 Stars, 1889, Unofficial. This beautiful military-grade flag with a double oval medallion pattern originally started as a 38 star flag, to which four center stars were added. Most likely, the flag was made by a contracted manufacturer to provide flags to military units. When four states entered the Union in 1889, the flag maker updated this flag, prior to selling it. Difference in highlighting on the edges of the four center stars and slightly brighter gilt, compared to the other 38 stars, is clear evidence of this." [ 3/13/2017]

"While Idaho's admission to the Union on 3 July 1890 made the 43 star flag official from 4 July 1890 until 4 July 1891, the admission of Wyoming as the 44th State on 10 July 1890 probably explains why there are so few 43 star flags to be found. Large numbers of 42 star flags were made in preparation for 4 July 1890. Very few 43 star flags appear to have been made afterwards. Although the 43 star pattern was official for one year, there were only 43 States for one week, 3 July 1890 to 10 July 1890." [ 3/13/2017]

Dimensions H-56.5 W-107.75 inches
Medium Textile
Search Terms Flags
United States
Subjects Flags