Unusual and Graphic Kerchief Style Parade Flag from Roosevelt's 1912 Campaign For Sale
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Unusual and Graphic Kerchief Style Parade Flag from Roosevelt's 1912 Campaign


UNUSUAL AND GRAPHIC KERCHIEF-STYLE PARADE FLAG FROM TEDDY ROOSEVELT'S 1912 BULL “MOOSE CAMPAIGN”: Teddy Roosevelt campaign parade flag, printed in red and blue on coarse white cotton. Designed to mimic a classic, western, red bandana, the overall style is peculiar to this particular variety of parade flag. The imagery features a portrait image of Roosevelt in a central, oval medallion, flanked by opposing images of trotting Bull Moose. Above and below Roosevelt’s image are the words “Progressive Party” and below, “Prosperity.” In the lower right-hand corner, a maker's mark reads "Am. Flag Co." Operating in New York and Chicago, American Flag Company was in business as early as the 1876 centennial of our nation's independence and possibly prior. The firm incorporated in New York in 1893 and in the year 1900 was operating at 45-47 Elizabeth Street, situated in present day Chinatown. The company maintained a western branch at 100-102 Lake Street, Chicago. Another firm by the same name was operating in Easton, Pennsylvania as early as 1890, but the NY & Chicago-based American Flag Company did not list a PA location on a tag that I encountered on a flag made in the 1890's-1920's era, and I have yet to establish any direct connection between the two makers. This particular TR campaign flag would have been produced by the NY firm, which is known to have been a prolific manufacturer of printed flags and banners, and quite certainly catered to Roosevelt, a native New Yorker. This graphic little flag is one of fewer than ten known examples, and serves and a great representation of the departure from the practice of printing campaign advertising directly on the Stars & Stripes, which fell out of favor in the last decade of the 19th century and became illegal in 1905. Roosevelt had declined to run in 1908, following a long-standing tradition that presidents were expected to leave office after two terms. He selected his friend, William Howard Taft, as his successor, and Taft went on to win the election of 1908. During his forthcoming administration, a rift grew between Taft and Roosevelt, who each became leaders of the Republican Party's two ever-spreading wings. The progressives opposed the court system, favored restrictions on women's employment, favored conservation, were more favorable toward labor unions, and opposed tariffs. The conservatives were pro-business and insisted on judicial supremacy. Taft became identified with the conservative wing, while Roosevelt was the leader of the progressive wing. By 1910 the split was deep. Roosevelt ran for nomination on the Republican ticket but lost to Taft, so in true T.R. fashion, he waved off defeat and set out on his own. Roosevelt nicknamed his the “Bull Moose Party,” and despite rather serious opposition from his many Republican friends, he jumped into the ring with no apparent reason to believe that he might actually lose. In the election, he did beat Taft, gaining 88 electoral votes versus Taft’s almost non-existent count of 8. Roosevelt thus became the only man in history to place second on an independent ticket. But he was slaughtered by Wilson, who received 435 votes in the Electoral College and went on to serve two terms. A disgruntled Roosevelt retreated to what he loved best, risk and adventure. He traveled to the Amazon jungle, where he ran an uncharted river and nearly perished. Mounting: The flag was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples. The mount was placed in a modern, cove-shaped molding with a finish that is very dark brown, nearly black, with red highlights and undertones, to which a deep, rectangular, shadowbox molding with a distressed gold face was added as a cap. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass. Condition: There is minor foxing and staining throughout, accompanied by moderate soiling along and adjacent to the hoist end. There is minor fabric loss along the hoist and small tack holes, where the flag was attached to its original, split wooden staff. many of my clients prefer early textiles to show their age and history of use. The flag presents beautifully and its rarity well-warrants its state of presentation. Frame Size (H x L): 21" x 28" Flag Size (H x L): 11.5" x 18.25"


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  • Dimensions
    H 11.5 in. x W 18.25 in. x D 2 in.H 29.21 cm x W 46.36 cm x D 5.08 cm
  • Seller Location
    York County, PA
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About the Seller

5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2008
Located in York County, PA
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