Can you Identify where our Flag Flew?

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by brunton1968, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. brunton1968

    brunton1968 New Member

    Hello all,

    We found your forum yesterday and are thrilled to learn there is a resource and vehicle for communication regarding American flags! We have been researching the provenance of a flag for some time without making any headway. Recently, we placed a video on You Tube in hopes of gathering information. As the flag will be available for sale after we are able to document it, we felt it best to offer a "reward" to the person who can authenticate our flag. Below is the link to the You Tube video as well as the infornation we have to date and we hope one of the members of the forum can further enlighten us as to what we have with the most unusual American flag.

    What we believe thus far is:

    While we were unpacking items not seen in half a decade from the Brass Bugle estate, we uncovered a US flag. This is a giant American flag with the 38 star configuration (including Colorado), used from July 04, 1877 to July 3, 1890. Unfurled it lays 12 feet 8 inches wide by a mammoth 20 feet long. This historic treasure is hand-sown and is a New England original and sports all brass grommets and an extremely interesting Star / compass marking on back with number 5 in the center. This flag was in service for most of the American & Indian wars, excluding Custer and the Little Big horn (June 25, 1876), as well as the infamous December 29, 1890 Wounded Knee massacre. Its gigantic size can only mean one of two things: It was either flown at the state capital, or it was the primary flag for a major US military installation!

    If you can offer solid provenance where this flag flew in the 1800's, you will earn 2% of the final selling price of this treasure at our final Brass Bugle event Oct 24th & 25th at the Gaillard Auditorium in Charleston SC. We think the symbol below is the clue which needs research.

    Visit our youTube video and please rate it so it becomes more popular. Someone might have information which will turn this flag into a national treasure.

    YouTube - Reward given for any information on this 38 star American Flag


    Andy Stone & Rob Brunton[FONT=Verdana,Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][/FONT]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2009
  2. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

  3. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    For what it's worth, NAVA will be holding its annual convention in Charleston on 9-11 October, just a couple of weeks before the auction. We'll have a number of very knowledgeable folks there who might be able to help identify the flag. If there's any interest we could probably set up a "splinter meeting" of some sort.

    Peter Ansoff
  4. Jeff Bridgman

    Jeff Bridgman New Member

    I am going to take an educated guess that that marking would identify the maker or potentially the seller of the blue wool bunting, not the flag. It could be the flag-maker, but even so, that would tell you absolutely nothing--or next to nothing--about where it flew. And it would not just have flown in one of two places. It could have been made for a large ship. It may never have flown at all, having been kept in reserves. Flags didn't last long, especially huge ones. I can't remember if the full view photo showed much damage.

    I sell antique flags for a living. I stock about 1,500 of them, most of which are 19th century. I have sold only one flag that was that size or larger, ever. Why? Because hardly anyone wants a flag of that size, especially with a benign star pattern. So while this is an interesting discussion, and I can't say that my interest wasn't peaked to see the mark, but I can't help but think that it's a bit futile to put great effort into the task. It's wonderful that someone cares enough to look, but the more important question is "what are were the smaller flags?--to heck with the huge one--that's virtually unsalable in my world. You want another? How about 10 of them? I'd be happy to oblidge. Unfortunately, this is a common object in flag collecting, worth about $200 - 400 at auction on the very best of days.

    And all of that said, good luck with the sale. When you are done finding out what it is I have a huge laundry list of other markings and names you can check into...:)

    All my best,

    Jeff Bridgman
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  5. Jeff Bridgman

    Jeff Bridgman New Member

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  6. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Welcome to the Forum! I think you should obtain that flag, and have the text "BRIDGMAN AMERICANA" stenciled across the stripes. The flag can then be flown outside of the antique show venues where your flags are displayed for sale. THEN, and only then, will we know where the flag was flown.

    It is rumored that the famed surplus arms merchant Bannerman discovered the same thing you did - huge flags do not sell. So he had his people de-construct a few humongous Civil War era stars and stripes, and reconfigure the materials into hand-sewn CSA First National flags. They were used at UCV reunions among other places. Many of these nice, displayable sized flags have sold as "genuine Civil War era Confederate flags" in recent years. This highlights the importance of a certificate signed by genuine flag experts like Fonda Thomsen, Howie Madaus (may he rest in peace), or Jeff Bridgman.

  7. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    As Nick indicated, Mr. Bridgman is one of a small group of folks who are genuine experts in the field of US flag identification and collecting. If you haven't seen it, take a look at his very interesting web site at

    Jeff Bridgman American Antiques and Antique American Flags

    Welcome, Jeff -- glad to have you onboard!

    Peter Ansoff
  8. Oooohhh! Hello Jeff!! Warm welcome!

    I have been on your site, and have referred to the information there a couple of times for discussions I have had on the flag
    I also enjoy seeing the flag pictures.. Too bad I can't see them for real...

    The oldest flag in my US flag collection is a 48 star one... Not very impressive eh!

Share This Page