40 Stars Flag

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by sfcortiz, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. sfcortiz

    sfcortiz New Member

    I purchased a 40 stars US flag today at an antique store and I would like to know, when was this type of flag officially the US flag?
     
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    I purchased a 40 stars US flag today at an antique store and I would like to know, when was this type of flag officially the US flag?

    Hi, welcome! Actually, the 40 star flag was *never* the official US flag. The number of stars jumped from 38 to 43 on July 4th, 1890, because 5 states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington and Idaho) all joined the union during the preceding 12 months. The 40th state was either North Dakota or South Dakota; they joined on the same day, November 2nd, 1889, so one was 39th and the other was 40th (take your pick!).

    There are many examples of flags with "unofficial" star counts that were made in anticipation of a particular state joining the union. You probably have one of these. It was not official, but it's a very interesting piece of history.

    Peter Ansoff
     
  3. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Hello sfcortiz:
    The 40 star flag is one of the scarcer "unofficial" flags of the late 19th c. Flags with 39 and 42 star flags a quite common. 41 star and 47 star (1912) flags are exceedingly rare. I have two 40 star flags. The larger is printed on wool, with a white wool fringe, I have seen two others identical to it. My other one is a printed cotton "parade flag" about 11x17 inches. Apparently 40 star parade flags are also very rare. Can you give us more details on your flag?
     

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