13 Star Cowpens/North Point Flag Help

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by Jwilliam, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Jwilliam

    Jwilliam New Member

    Hey there, I've acquired a very old 'looking' 13 Star Cowpens flag...The main thing right off the bat is it appears to be a vertical display flag being the square is in the right corner. I can't find nearly any information on the identification of a Cowpens flag as the only thing I'm able to find is the simple history of the Maryland 3rd Regiment and the flag itself. Could this have been a possible battle flag? Were vertical flags made in the same era? It seems to be of very old material and contains possible blood stains. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! :)
     
  2. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Welcome to the USA Flag Forum, Jwilliam!

    From your description I assume that the flag is one-sided? I hope you will forgive me for jumping to conclusions, but I immediately though of this fake (see picture below) that was on eBay recently. For more info on these copies, please see:
    Fake Flags

    It would be very helpful if you could post some pics of your flag. There are a number of knowlegeble collectors on this forum and you can get some good leads.

    Oh, by the way, the "Original" Cowpens flag is a fake, too. It is a 165-year old antique fake, but fake nevertheless. The State of Maryland removed it to their archives once it was pointed out that it was identical in manufacture to a flag that was known to have been made during the Mexican War era of the 1840's.

    Nick

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jwilliam

    Jwilliam New Member

    Hey Nick! Thanks a lot for getting back to me. I will post some this weekend for sure..Actually it indeed is one-sided but nothing like the flag in the photo you posted. Is that the one you thought I was talking about? I would immediately be detoured from that flag anyways due to the gold edge. But thanks a lot and yes I've been doing quite a bit of research (as I have on quite a few flags) but of course there's very little history of the Cowpens compared to other Union Flags. Thanks!
     
  4. Jwilliam

    Jwilliam New Member

    Hey there Nick - so I took some photos and here they are...If you get a chance - please check them out and give me your thoughts. Based on a lot more research I've done, it appears it could be fake..A few things that make me wonder though is why a Vertical fake?? And I did get another flag with this one - it's a 45 star and they both have the same wear and story of how they came from an old trunk from an estate - etc.etc. I was told the both were at least 100 yrs. old...The material seems to be old wool bunting..Anyways-thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
    Pictures by arcturis99 - Photobucket
     
  5. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    This is absolutely a fake.
     
  6. Jwilliam

    Jwilliam New Member

    Thanks - can you expound on why please? I'd appreciate it..Thanks again - J
     
  7. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    I would not call it a "fake" because clearly it was not made of materials that would lead any knowledgeable person to believe it was of 18th century vintage. It is a home made replica, most likely 20th century manufacture. The zig-zag stitching of the stars puts an cap of early 1890's on the earliest date of manufacture. Since you could replicate it today using old cotton the actual age of manufacture is difficult to determine without extensive forensic examination that would cost more than the flag is worth.

    The "decorative reproductions" of Civil War flags that plagued eBay a few years ago only became "fakes" when some unscrupulous jerks offered them as authentic 1860's vintage flags. Some sold for $3000 and up. They were a problem because potential buyers didn't bother to compare the roughly-stitched cotton flags with authentic wool-bunting USA flags that were also occasionally available on eBay. It also didn't occur to them that $3000 for a $15,000 authentic Confederate flag was "too good to be true."

    Nick
     
  8. Jwilliam

    Jwilliam New Member

    Thanks Nick...I suppose my issues were with it being a replica vertical flag?? (Which I've never seen 1 replica/fake vertical.)

    Any rate-thanks again!
     
  9. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    I have to disagree, here, despite Nick's long expertise with flags. Many of the new, fake Confederate flags are made in the same general manner, of new fabric that has been washed with stones or otherwise aged to make it look worn and torn. Some people are better at this than others. You don't have to be good at it to fool people. You have to be good to fool people who see such things all the time, which doesn't account for most people when it comes to antique flags. In other words, this flag fooled you and it would fool many others. A friend of mine recently bought a 13 star flag a lot like this in the Caribbean at an antique shop, being sold as an original. He's been in the antiques business for many years, but he was fooled--an that was the intention. He does not know flags, so he made a mistake.

    You can buy machines today that yield zigzag stitches and I'd say this is brand new all the way around and made to deceive. All of the fabrics are new. The wear is intentional.
     
  10. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    p.s.: The sellers of the fake Confederates only stopped trying to sell them as period when few eBay buyers believed the story anymore. After that time, they started to sell them as "reunion" flags, which was more plausible, and it worked. But they are brand new, like this flag. Not made by the same people, but new all the same.
     
  11. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    JWilliam,
    I can agree with a lot of what AmericaHurrah says, but I am still not sure the flag is that recent. I don't recall that we discussed the size of the flag. If it is less than 2 to 3 feet long, then it is more likely to be fairly recent. If it is 5 feet or longer it would not be one of the "eBay fakes" because those were a perfect size to be "professionally framed" like that 13--star flag with the gold trim that I depicted earlier and were just right for "decorative use." A 5-foot long Cowpens flag, in my opinion, would have been made as a legitimate reproduction for use in celebrating American History. Could it have been made as late at the Bicentennial? I suppose so, but compare it carefully to the materials and manufacture of the 45-star flag you also got in that lot. It's unlikely that the 45 was a copy because until recently, a 45-star reproduction flag was a "custom order" and would have cost a couple of hundred dollars whereas originals could be bought for $50 to $100. Now the copies are more readily available.
    Nick
     

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