Results 1 to 5 of 5
Hi, glad I found your site! My family owns a 38 star flag that has stamped on the strip that holds the brass rings "Patented April 26 1870 and May ...
  1. #1
    Petesza is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    3

    Default How to preserve a 38 Star 3*5 Flag

    Hi, glad I found your site!

    My family owns a 38 star flag that has stamped on the strip that holds the brass rings "Patented April 26 1870 and May 2d 1876 5-FT". It has 38 stars with 4 rows of 7 and 2 rows of 5. The stars are not sewn onto the flag, but stamped with dye like the stripes are. The four parts of the flag appear to be machine sewn together (the star section, short stripe section, long stripe section, and the strip that holds the brass rings).

    It is very old looking and fragile and I would like to frame it if it is not too expensive. I measured it and it looks to have stretched over the years to a few inches bigger both length & width-wise, so about 3'2" * 5'4".

    I read a number of posts and looks to be a pretty involved process. I live in Mass. if any of you might know folks who do this kind of work I would like to preserve it in a frame to hang on our wall.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
    Petesza

  2. #2
    NAVA1974 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Columbia Maryland, native to Massachusetts.
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: How to preserve a 38 Star 3*5 Flag

    Quote Originally Posted by Petesza View Post
    My family owns a 38 star flag that has stamped on the strip that holds the brass rings "Patented April 26 1870 and May 2d 1876 5-FT". It has 38 stars with 4 rows of 7 and 2 rows of 5. The stars are not sewn onto the flag, but stamped with dye like the stripes are. The four parts of the flag appear to be machine sewn together (the star section, short stripe section, long stripe section, and the strip that holds the brass rings).
    Your flag was made using the press-dyeing process patented in 1870 (refined in 1876.) The United States Bunting Company of Lowell, Massachusetts owned the patent rights to the 1870 process. Civil War General Benjamin Butler was a principal of the USBunting Co. He was also a congressman from Massachusetts and got Congress to pass a law favoring flags of US-made bunting - and guess which company was the first to produce wool bunting in the US? Yep, his company. Prior to that bunting was imported from England.

    Quote Originally Posted by Petesza View Post
    It is very old looking and fragile and I would like to frame it if it is not too expensive. I measured it and it looks to have stretched over the years to a few inches bigger both length & width-wise, so about 3'2" * 5'4".
    That was one of the smallest size flags they made using press dyeing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Petesza View Post
    I read a number of posts and looks to be a pretty involved process. I live in Mass. if any of you might know folks who do this kind of work I would like to preserve it in a frame to hang on our wall.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
    Petesza
    Check out the American Textile History Museum in Lowell. www.athm.org
    They have a Conservation Center that may be able to give you some info. However, I suspect that a full conservation project on your flag would cost way more than the retail value of a 38-star flag.

    Nick
    ps: sorry I didn't post earlier but the web site was messed up and lost my replies.

  3. #3
    Petesza is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How to preserve a 38 Star 3*5 Flag

    Thanks Nava1974!

    Really good information!

    Your flag was made using the press-dyeing process patented in 1870 (refined in 1876.) The United States Bunting Company of Lowell, Massachusetts owned the patent rights to the 1870 process. Civil War General Benjamin Butler was a principal of the USBunting Co. He was also a congressman from Massachusetts and got Congress to pass a law favoring flags of US-made bunting - and guess which company was the first to produce wool bunting in the US? Yep, his company. Prior to that bunting was imported from England.
    Cool, that makes good sense given where I live (MA).

    Check out the American Textile History Museum in Lowell. American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts
    They have a Conservation Center that may be able to give you some info. However, I suspect that a full conservation project on your flag would cost way more than the retail value of a 38-star flag.
    I did some looking around over the past few weeks and while I did not find any specifics did find a number of references to the fact that it is very expensive. So I started looking at a few sites where they had do-it-yourself projects and there were a few but looked like you needed to be a retired cabinet maker to do a decent job.

    We have the perfect spot in our house to hang this flag, big wall that does not get direct sunlight. I get the sense that just hanging it will not be good and now wondering if there is a way to display it without costing an arm&leg and at the same time not ultimately ruining the flag....

    Maybe I should just keep it in the closet where it has been for so many years

    Thanks again Nick for your reply!

    Pete

  4. #4
    NAVA1974 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Columbia Maryland, native to Massachusetts.
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: How to preserve a 38 Star 3*5 Flag

    "We have the perfect spot in our house to hang this flag, big wall that does not get direct sunlight. I get the sense that just hanging it will not be good and now wondering if there is a way to display it without costing an arm&leg and at the same time not ultimately ruining the flag...."

    What you can do to both display the flag and minimize the stress on it is to stich the flag to a background of unbleached cotton muslin (you may need to sew two widths of fabric together if the flag is too wide for one width.) Be sure to stretch the muslin out and lay the flag on it - unstreched. Once it is stitched to the muslin the musiln will take the weight of the flag. How long will that last? Well, Amelia Fowler did the same thing to the Star Spangled Banner back in 1914 and that lasted 85 years at the Smithsonian! Ms. Fowler used Irish linen for the backing but you can get unbleached muslin (non acidic, and no nasty chemicals to damage your flag) at nearly any half-decent fabric shop. Leave enough of the muslin at the heading so that you can sew a sleeve in it and hang the flag on a curtain rod.
    Nick Artimovich

  5. #5
    Petesza is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How to preserve a 38 Star 3*5 Flag

    Thanks so much Nick! Your insight and knowledge have really helped and I truly appreciate your input

    Pete

Similar Threads

  1. Carrying a Flag in Parade Horizontally
    By Mikemenn in forum US Flag Display
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 06-21-2014, 08:38 AM
  2. The gold or yellow trim and what it means beyond all the disinformation
    By Glenn_EG in forum US Flag Specs and Design
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 05-31-2012, 04:52 PM
  3. conversation on Yahoo Messenger. help me see who is right!!
    By american_flag_uk in forum Other US Flag Etiquette
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-17-2010, 06:21 PM
  4. History of the American flag
    By dubhda2 in forum American Flag History
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-19-2008, 09:48 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •