History help please

Discussion in 'American Flag History' started by fuhai32, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. fuhai32

    fuhai32 New Member

    Hello all!

    My girlfriend who happens to be an E-7 in the US Navy has an antique flag, from some research of my own i believe it to be a 1876 Centennial flag flown by naval Ensign ship during that time frame, it is a 13 star flag 46" x 29". There is a name sewn on the back of the flag near one of the metal grommets "Margaret Donegan". If any of you can, i would like your professional insight on the history of this type of flag. I am trying to convince her to keep it as a family heirloom but she kinda wants to sell it, any idea of value of this piece. Of course i shall attach pictures. Any insight is appreciated, thank you all.

    Attached Files:

  2. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi Fuhai and welcome! That is a fine looking Medallion flag. There has been several threads on this type flag. You might want to do an in-forum search using "13 star Medallion flag" and see what comes up. After that comes up look also at the bottom for Similar Threads. I could be wrong but flags of this type were mostly used on private boats and yachts and not by the U.S. Navy. The Navy did use 13 star flags in a usual 3-2-3-2-3 pattern as "boat" flags for their small naval craft but not in the Medallion pattern. Maybe someone can prove me wrong?
  3. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    CSAANV is correct. The medallion pattern was a civilian flag design. All signed Small Boat Flags made by Navy bases use the 3-2-3-2-3 pattern during the last third of the 19th C and early 20th C. Earlier Navy boat flags sometimes used 4-4-4-4 (16 stars) or 4-5-4 patterns. After WW I when the Navy stopped using 13 star flags the 3-2-3-2-3 pattern was commonly sold to civilians by flagmakers who didn't apply the full number of stars until the flag size reached 4x6 feet or larger. (Printed star fields were common for small flags.)

    Take a look on ebay and try to find a sewn USA flag with 45 or fewer stars that is all sewn. Now see how many are less than 5 feet long. Then see how many all sewn 13 star flags appear. How many are larger than 4x6 feet???
  4. fuhai32

    fuhai32 New Member

    Thank you both for the quick responses, i shall definitely look into the forums for more info. I also contacted a auctioneer named Jeff Bridgman who also stated what you guys said, he wants to buy it from my girl friend for $2500, i still will push her to keep it but does that sound like a fair offer?
  5. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Jeff's offer is more than fair. In my experience that offer exceeds what you would get on eBay and comparable to brick-and-mortar auction estimates (before you have to pay the auction fees.) As he recently mentioned on this forum 13-star medallion flags are worth $350 to $800 with machine sewn stars. Your girlfriend's flag has hand-stitched stars which are somewhat more desirable. Hence Jeff's good offer.

    Columbia Maryland
  6. A really nice flag! Love it!

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