42 Stars

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by 10ACDawg, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. 10ACDawg

    10ACDawg New Member

    Hello everyone. I found this site by googling my particular find. I have just came across an old flag which contains 42 stars in the canton, however 6 of the stars are obviously smaller than the others. Anyone seen anything like this?

    Attached Files:

  2. David Wagner

    David Wagner Member

    Beautiful flag! There are experts on this site that can provide very insightful information about your specific flag's manufacture, rarity, or worth. I can give you some generalities of your flag if you haven't already found this information on your own.

    In 1912, President William Taft signed an executive order standardizing the US flag. Among other things, he specified an exact height-width ratio, the size of the blue field to the overall flag, the size of the stars to the flag, and the pattern and alignment of those stars. Prior to President Taft's executive order, the appearance of the US flag was astonishingly varied. Flag manufacturers were free to put the flag into any proportions they chose and they could put the stars into any pattern or size that they fancied. Most flags I've seen from around 39 stars and onward tended to have stars in even rows or columns. I've seen flags with these star counts with differing star sizes or patterns, but my guess is that they are probably considered unusual but not rare.

    The 42 star flag is from 1890 but was never offical. The official star count only changes on the 4th of July, so if several states joined in quick order the official star count "jumps" to the number of states on the next July 4th. Rather than rewriting a detailed explanation, I am plagiarizing from http://rareflags.com/RareFlags_Showcase_IAS_00276.htm

    North Dakota and South Dakota entered the Union on November 2, 1889, bringing the count from 38 to 40. Just 6 days later, on November 8, 1889, Montana became the 41st state, and then, just 3 days later, on November 11, 1889, Washington State became number 42. For 243 days, the United States had 42 states, but just one day before Washington State's 42 would have become official, on July 3, 1890, Idaho entered the Union as the 43rd state. Consequently, the 42 star flag representing Washington Statehood never became official, despite having a period of 243 days with 42 states. Flag manufacturers often disregarded the "official" star count, and produced flags and sold flags that were current regardless of the official national star count.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  3. kirshmed

    kirshmed New Member

    Hello! Are you interested in selling? If so please let me know!
  4. Dexter Cole

    Dexter Cole Member

    Cool flag, it looks like a printed type. Are those small stars printed? or are they sewn on?
  5. 10ACDawg

    10ACDawg New Member

    It is printed....
  6. 10ACDawg

    10ACDawg New Member

    Anyone have any suggestions on determining its value? Thx!
  7. David Wagner

    David Wagner Member

    There are a number of business who specialize in historic flags. I'm sure they would all be pleased to look at your flag and tell you what they are willing to offer you for it:

    I have also seen a number of flags sold at places that don't specialize in historic flags but sell many of them:

    I also suggest that you check out Ebay. There are almost always a few dozen historic flags being sold there at any given time. You can make a listing with a reserve price that you won't go below. If you go that route you may want to frame it first. I personally do not like to purchase framed flags as I like to look at it first and then chose a frame to my own liking. However, framing does create a finished product and gives you a larger audience than simply flag collectors. For example, I have seen older homes with a framed flag in the entry way showing the appropriate star count from when the home was built. Your flag would also appeal to anyone from Washington state.

    Regardless of which way you go - I strongly suggest that you not try to clean or iron it in any way. The patina is often the most interesting part of a old flag.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
    Robin Hickman likes this.

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