42 star flag made by annin with defiance cotton bunting

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by danacrull, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. danacrull

    danacrull New Member

    I have acquired a 42 star flag made by Annin, Defiance cotton bunting on the sewn on label. The question about the office is "is it a authentic period flag"? It has machine stitching for the stars, white material on both sides. The size is 5' x about 7', it is torn badly on the end from being flown. It has brass grommets. How can I determine if it is vintage or a much later production of the 42 star flag?

    This is my first time on a forum, please bear with me.

    Thanks,
    Dana
     
  2. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi Dana and welcome!
    A 42 star flag is indeed a rare bird as officially the flag went from 38 to 43 in 1890 with five states joining the Union in 1889. Washington become a state on November 11, 1889 as the 42nd star. While Annin was in business during that time it is unlikely that your flag was made during that period. I don't believe (I could be wrong) Annin was sewing on their label on flags and using Defiance cotton during that time. Most flags of that size were made of wool bunting not cotton. It is most likely a special made flag to celebrate the 50th or 75th anniversary of the state maybe? With all that said anything is possible so I would not rule it totally out. Is there anyway you could post photos of your flag and especially of the label and a star? There was a certain way they stitched the star during that period and that can tell us exactly if it is period or not. This would help us nail down the date better. If you go to Advanced button under the reply window and select the paper clip icon it will step you through the process or if you care to email me the photos at emmalpass(at)yahoo(dot)com I can do it for you.
    Cheers,
    mike
     
  3. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    Count the stars again. Does it have 48? If not, someone cut the first column off perhaps, removing 6 stars to make a 42. It's a common faking technique.
     
  4. danacrull

    danacrull New Member

    I am tending to think that it is a special later production also. There is no evidence of a row being cut off. Just had high hopes as it came from my 93 year old mom. Still a nice keepsake. See attached photos.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi Dana,
    It is definitely a product of the 20th century. Annin used that label only on thier 48 star flags and special flags in the early-mid 1900s. The star you have is zig-zagged appliquéd. The technique of zig-zaging stars first started with the 45 star flags in 1896. It is it possible to send us a photo of just the star field so we can see how the stars were arranged?
     
  6. danacrull

    danacrull New Member



    Please find attached the requested photo of the star field.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. APS221

    APS221 Member

    I count 48 stars on that flag.
     
  8. danacrull

    danacrull New Member

    oops, back to basic math. my apologies to all on this. quite red faced here. no more questions.
     
  9. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    No worries, It was a good exercise for all of us. Now you know how to upload photos to the site.
    Cheers,
    mike
     
  10. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    You can actually see zigzag stitching earlier. I have seen it on several 42 star flags, a 43 star flag, more 44 star flags than I can easily remember, plus a 38 star flag that I have for a very long time been on the fence about. I didn't buy it, and it was a very long time ago now--perhaps 13 years. Certainly it is possible that in 1889 someone made the flag with zigzag-sewn stars, but it is the only one I have ever seen. The stars were in a double wreath medallion. It was sold at the Pier Show in NY while I sat around presuming it was a fake. Now I know enough to know that it may not have been, though I am still very skeptical.

    The 43 was period as well as the 42's, and they are all 1889-90. And some of the 44's could be 1890-91.

    All this having been said, Annin did not use that particular label until the 20th century, that I agree with fully. And the flag is the heavy weight cotton that is about the same weight as wool bunting in a way, which generally means post-WWII (though not always). It's probably 50 years of Washington Statehood, as has already been suggested by other members here.
     
  11. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Never say never eh? It would be nice if we could document that for certain. I was basing my assessment off Grace Cooper's book, Thirteen-Star Flags. She said that she has never seen zig-zag stitching on a US flag earlier than a 45 star flag.
     
  12. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi AmericanHurrah,
    After I posted I went through some old documents and found some documentation which backs up your observation. It is a patent submitted by a Mr. Bowman in 1889 to make a flag by appliquéing stars using a zig-zag stitching method onto a flag. He was granted the patent in 1892 will means the method was probably in use a few years before the submission. I will have to post the document later as we are having a dinner party in a few minutes and I will have to convert the file into a jpg.etc. Thanks for sharing that tidbit of your experience which helps us all.
    Cheers,
    mike
     
  13. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    Grace simply didn't see enough flags, Peter. In her position at the Smithsonian at a time when no one used email, how could she? Today I get so many emails with images of flags that I can't even keep up with them all. And for a long time I was buying perhaps 20 per week. How many people send them to the Smithsonian? And how many might she have seen in her travels? She probably spent most of her days at the museum, isolated from what lay beyond those walls save for what people sent her, with no email. That's why her list of known examples was pitiful in the book.

    Her problem is the same as the auction houses. They see even fewer. It's the same one that major collectors have that write books. They have what comes through their hands as evidence of everything that's out there. They watch what comes around, but they do other things for a living and they don't see enough. They don't hold enough of them in their hands.

    I have had a couple with the original 1892 patent on the flag--I have one now. But patent's don't get entered right when the technology gets put into place, so the 42's, 43, and 44's make perfect sense. A 38 would too in theory, but I have trouble with it all the same because I have only seen one. That was a transitional

    I knew that was a 48 as soon as I saw the message come in, without ever seeing the flag. It's a mistake I see all the time. That's why I questioned the owner. I looked at the label and a star and knew, like you did, that it wasn't period. I didn't see a full view. But I guessed it was a star counting problem.

    Same thing happens with 36's, except in that case they are usually fakes with 2 columns of stars removed. Sometimes they do that with 48's, removing 1 column, but it's more profitable to make a Civil War era flag, so if creating a forgery they cut off two columns of 6 stars. If they say 44 and it has zigzag stars (which most 42's don't), it's usually a 48 and the person has counted wrong.

    Hope you are all having a great weekend.

    Jeff
     
  14. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    Oops--two problems with my email.

    I meant "When they say it's a 42 [44 was a typo] and it has zigzag sewn stars (which most do not have), I can guess it's a 48.

    And I didn't finish my other paragraph. I meant to say that the 1890-1896 period was a transitional one. Mostly you see lineal-stitch, machine-sewn stars. But many still have hand-sewn stars and some have zigzag.

    And Grace's book is still great, despite the fact that it is now 40 years old. There's a lot of great stuff in those pages, but just like with Mastai, read it with a grain of salt, knowing these were the pioneers. They deserve a mulligan because they were the first to do it in each case (a book about 13 star flags and flag construction, and a book by a collector documenting a collection).
     
  15. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Great info AmericaHurrah! Thanks for sharing from your rich experience as a collector/buyer/seller. My dinner guest have left so here are the documents by Henry Bowman that I mentioned earlier. Cheers to all.

    METHOD_OF_MAKING_FLAGS_Page_3.jpg METHOD_OF_MAKING_FLAGS_Page_4.jpg METHOD_OF_MAKING_FLAGS_Page_1.jpg METHOD_OF_MAKING_FLAGS_Page_2.jpg
     
  16. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

  17. gjcallahan

    gjcallahan New Member

    I have a 42 star flag (6 rows of 7). I have having a difficult time identifying the flag. I have found other 42 star flags but not with the 6 . 7 star pattern
     

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