1 of 7 images

Homemade 34 Star Flag, Cornflower Blue, Interesting Configuration, 1861-1863

About

Homemade 34-star civil war flag with its stars arranged on a cornflower blue canton in a very interesting configuration that incorporates the crosses of St. Andrew and St. George, possibly made with southern sympathies, 1861-1863: 34 star American national flag, entirely hand-sewn and made of cotton. The stars are roughly arranged in seven staggered rows of 6-4-6-3-6-4-6. This is a particularly large number of rows for such a low star count, but it is far from the flag’s most intriguing feature. More significant is the configuration which they create, in which the Southern Cross is embedded. Note how it can be drawn from an elongated hexagon of six stars in the center, from which double, parallel rows of three and four stars veer off diagonally toward each corner of the canton. I have handled many stars and stripes variant flags that I feel were made, at least in part, to subtly display sympathies for the southern cause. Some have star counts that relate to the number of Confederate States, or to the number of Slave States and others have stripe counts that send a similar message, particularly with either seven or 11 stripes to reflect the total number of states that officially left the Union during the initial wave of secession, or the total that had officially seceded soon thereafter, but others have patterns embedded within the configuration of the stars. It has been suggested that features may have been used to marked a safe house for Confederate spies, or a place of business where southerners could find preferential treatment of some kind. The unusual thing about this particular flag is that it also could be interpreted as displaying the Crosses of St. Andrew and St. George, due to the two flanking stars on the top, bottom, fore and aft of the “Southern Cross.” If this is the case, British glorification might be a deceptive message to distract the viewer from questioning any intended southern symbolism. This might seem to be more of a stretch of the imagination if there were not numerous other examples of Stars & Stripes flags that display Confederate sympathies, some of which are accompanied by similar misleading features. Whatever pattern its maker intended, it can be suggested with confidence that hidden meanings were sewn into numerous Civil War period stars and stripes, and this one can be included among them. It can also be said that the flags in question often gained extraordinary graphic qualities from it, and that this one is no exception. In addition to the modern art-type qualities that result from the placement of the stars, other factors contribute to its striking visual appearance. Note how the fat, starfish-like shape of the stars varies greatly from one to the next, and how they point in various directions on their vertical axes. Also note how they are arranged on a canton that is not only unusual in color, but is made of glazed cotton that has a beautiful, lustrous sheen. Glazed fabric is very desirable in early American textiles, but it isn’t often seen in early flag-making. In addition to the stunning presentation found in the accumulation of these features, they lend precisely the kind of handmade charm that attracts flag collectors and connoisseurs of Americana to early examples of the Stars & Stripes. Kansas was admitted into the Union as the 34th state on January 29th, 1861, about two-and-a-half months before the Confederate assault on Fort Sumter that marked the beginning of the Civil War. The 34th star was officially added on July 4th of that year, but most flag makers would have added a 34th star with the addition of Kansas in January. The star count remained official until July 4th, 1863, and 34 star flags would have generally been produced until the addition of West Virginia in June of that year. Construction: The stripes and canton are hand-sewn and made of cotton. The stars are double-applique´d, meaning that they are sewn to both sides. Cotton was a poor fabric for outdoor signals, as it absorbs water. It was, however, the fabric of choice for homemade flags, because it was cheap and widely available. Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% silk organza for support on every seam. It was then stitched to a background of 100% cotton twill, black in color. The black cotton 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 front is U.V. protective acrylic.

Details

  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 61 in. x W 79.5 in. x D 2.5 in.

    H 154.94 cm x W 201.93 cm x D 6.35 cm

  • Seller location
    York County, PA
  • Seller reference number
    34j-899
  • Reference number
    LU84972292642

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

Recognized
Vetted
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
34 Star, Hand-Sewn, Homemade Antique American F...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
34 star, hand-sewn, homemade, antique American flag of the civil war period, made of a combination of salvaged fabrics, including mens shirting, 1861-1863, opening years of the war, ...
34 Star Civil War Period Flag with Unusual Wove...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
34 stars, Civil War period (1861-63), an unusual example with woven stripes and press-dyed stars, possibly made in New York by the Annin Company: 34 star flag, of the Civil War perio...
33 Stars in a "Great Star" or "Great Luminary" ...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
33 STARS IN A "GREAT STAR" OR "GREAT LUMINARY" PATTERN ON A HOMEMADE FLAG WITH A BEAUTIFUL, GLAZED COTTON CANTON, 1859-1861, PRE-CIVIL WAR THROUGH WAR PERIOD, OREGON STATEHOOD : Ent...
38 Star Flag with Stars in a Beautiful Medallio...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
38 STARS IN AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE "GREAT-STAR-IN-A-WREATH" CONFIGURATION, 1876-1889, COLORADO STATEHOOD: 38 star American parade flag, block-printed by hand on coarse, glazed cotto...
You May Also Like
13-Star Eagle American Ship Swallow-Tailed Penn...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
Cotton, Wool
Thirteen-star 14 foot wide eagle American ship swallow-tailed pennant flag. An extremely rare surviving example of historic flags used on American ships, this swallow-tailed flag wo...
34-Star Civil War Kansas Flag, Great Star (Flow...
The stars of this extremely rare, Civil War era flag, are arranged in what is sometimes called the "Great Flower" pattern, a large star made out of smaller stars -- named a...

Pair of Framed 48 Star Parade Flags

$1,250 Sale Price / set
26% Off
Pair of Framed 48 Star Parade Flags
Unknown
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
Cotton
These folky and fun faded parade flags are newly framed in distressed painted wood frames and sewn on beige cotton linen. Great decorative accents in your boys room or Folk Art colle...

Early and Rare Hand Crochet 48 Star Framed Flag

$1,675 Sale Price
31% Off
Early and Rare Hand Crochet 48 Star Framed Flag
Unknown
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
Wool
This is a most unusual hand crochet 48 star framed flag in a custom-made frame. The condition is very good.
Campaign Bandanna: Hancock and English
W. H. Greene & Sons
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
Cotton
With portraits of the two candidates, General Winfield S. Hancock and Hon. William H. English, inscriptions include: Union is Strength, E Pluribus Unum, 1880, and the company which ...
Commemorative Bandanna: Centennial International
American Quilts and Blankets
Original printed bandanna celebrating the International Centennial held at Fairmont Park, Philadelphia. Illustrations and inscriptions include: Main Exhibition Building, The Machin...
Political Textile. James Garfield and Chester ...
American Political and Patriotic Memorabilia
Cotton
Jugate portrait, beautifully graphic political textile, from the 1880 campaign of James Garfield and Chester Arthur, both of whom became president of the United States. Legend: "Ja...
Campaign Bandanna: Harrison/Morton1888
American Quilts and Blankets
Cotton
Political campaign bandanna. Inscribed: 1888 Protect Home Industry with portraits of Benj. Harrison and Levi P. Morton. Illustrated THREADS OF HISTORY, Smithsonian Institution, Pl...

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries