1 of 7 images

13 Star Parade Flag, Unusually Large Among Its Known Counterparts


13 STAR PARADE FLAG IN A 3-2-3-2-3 PATTERN, MADE CA 1876-1898, UNUSUALLY LARGE AND WITH AN UNUSUAL STAR PATTERN AMONG ITS COUNTERPARTS OF THE 19TH CENTURY: 13 star American national parade flag, printed on cotton, made sometime in the period between 1876 and 1898. This is a very rare size for the 13 star count in a printed flag. Most are very small (less than 10”). Before purchasing a small group of about eight of these flags some years ago, I had never before seen an example that bore any resemblance. The group was found in Canada, and were almost certainly made there for the American market, or made in the States for the Canadian market for an event where there was U.S. involvement. Whatever the case may be, others in the same style have since been found there and Canadian manufacture would explain the scarcity. The stars are quite large in scale. Each is canted at a slight angle such that one point is directed in the 1:00 position. These are arranged in staggered lineal rows in counts of 3-2-3-2-3, which is the most common configuration found in 19th century flags with 13 stars that have pieced-and-sewn construction, but is highly unusual among printed parade flags. In most cases the 3-2-3-2-3 design can also be viewed as a diamond of stars, with a star in each corner and a star in the very centre. It can also be interpreted as a combination of the crosses of St. Andrew and St. George, which some experts feel could have been the design of the very first American flag, serving as a link between this star pattern and the British Union Jack. The pattern is often attributed--erroneously in my opinion to New Jersey Senator Francis Hopkinson, a member of the Second Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, who is credited with having played the most significant role in the original design of the American national flag. Hopkinson's original drawings for the design of the flag have not survived and his other depictions of 13 star arrangements for other devices are inconsistent. On this particular example, note the unusual coloration of the hoist area, adjacent to the canton, which is red instead of the typical white. This adds a distinctly unusual feature to the flag's visual presentation and is a nice compliment to the field of large, canted stars. The presence of an extra amount of white beneath the 13th stripe is also atypical. This represents blank space between one flag and the next. Parade flags were printed on a bolt of fabric, like other printed textiles, and were clipped from the bolt as desired when sold. Many parade flags don't have any significant amount of space between one flag and the next, so it is unusual to see this much open white space; and there was, in fact, even more beyond the point where this one was trimmed, as evidenced by other surviving examples of flags in this style, some of which appear to have a full 14th white stripe. 13 star flags have been flown throughout our nation’s history for a variety of purposes. They were hoisted at patriotic events, including Lafayette’s visit in 1825-26, the celebration of the nation's centennial in 1876, and the sesquicentennial in 1926. They were displayed during the Civil War, to reference past struggles for American liberty and victory over oppression, and were used by 19th century politicians in political campaigning for the same reason. The U.S. Navy used the 13 star count on small boats until 1916, because it was easier to discern fewer stars at a distance on a small flag. Commercial flag-makers mirrored this practice and some private ships flew 13 star flags during the same period as the Navy. The use of yachting ensigns with a wreath of 13 stars surrounding an fouled anchor, which allowed pleasure boats to bypass customs between 1848 and 1980, persists today without an official purpose. Mounting: The flag has been stitched to 100% cotton, black in color, which has been washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. The mount was then placed in a modern molding that is constructed of wood, but has a finish that presents like antique iron. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass. Condition: There is some foxing throughout. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use. Frame size (H x L): 25.25" x 35" Flag size (H x L): 14.75" x 24".    


  • Condition
    Good. See Item Description.
  • Dimensions

    H 25.25 in. x W 35 in. x D 2 in.

    H 64.14 cm x W 88.9 cm x D 5.08 cm

  • Seller location
    York County, PA
  • Seller reference number
  • Reference number

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2008
Typical response time: 4 hrs
Located in York County, PA
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs
More From This Seller
40 Star Parade Flag, Extremely Scarce Example, ...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
44 Stars On A Large Scale Parade Flag, Wyoming ...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
44 STARS ON A LARGE SCALE PARADE FLAG, WYOMING STATEHOOD, 1890-1896, RARE IN THIS PERIOD WITH A WREATH CONFIGURATION: 44 star American parade flag with triple wreath medallion star ...
36 Stars in a Medallion Configuration on a Larg...
North American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
36 stars in a medallion configuration on a parade flag with a huge, haloed center star; a rare example, large in scale, Civil War era, Nevada statehood, 1864-1867. 36 star Americ...
13 Stars in an Unusual Pattern on a Paper Parad...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
13 stars in an unusual pattern on a rare paper parade flag with advertising hop bitters, probably distributed for the 1876 centennial: Printed paper parade flag with advertising ...
You May Also Like
19th Century Wood Boat Model "Miss C.B. Fuller"...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
A Charming Highly Decorative Wood Carved Boat, The Name Painted in White on the Rear of the Boat-- the 'Miss C.B. Fuller', from the State Of Maine as is labeled on the boat, there is...
Vintage "Lucky 13 " Soap Box Derby Carnival Rid...
American Carnival Art
Vintage " Lucky 13 " Soap Box Derby carnival ride car.
Thomas Jefferson Carved Cane
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
Unique carved cane that chronicles the life and achievements of Thomas Jefferson. Among the carved words are "Thos. Jefferson of Va Born Apr 2,1743 Was President USA 1801 to 1809" an...
Campaign Bandanna: Parker/Davis 1904.
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
Theatrical flag curtains open on a star spangled presentation of candidates, "For president/ Alton B. Parker/1904/ For Vice President/ Henry G. Davis/ 1904" with a banner p...
American Hand-Carved Eagle, Clutching Arrows an...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
This is an antique hand-carved and painted American eagle. A striking eagle with wings spread, the carving is hand-painted and gilded. The claws of the eagle clutch a bunch of arrows...
Hand Embroidered Presidential Quilt, circa 1980
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
This is a hand embroidered presidential quilt, circa 1980.
19th Century Tagua Nut Carved Snuffbox
French Tobacco Accessories
Beautiful Tagua nut carved snuffbox featuring a whale's head with sulphur eyes. The lid is decorated by a flowered vase topped by the inscription "souvenir de R". The inside of th...
18th Century Oak Tree Missal Box
French More Folk Art
Beautiful Alpine 18th Century oak tree carved missal box, finely and precisely engraved with typical French Savoie details as hearts, rosaces and rouelles. The box has the shape of ...

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries