new blue/old flag question

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by newblue44, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. newblue44

    newblue44 New Member

    I stumbled upon USA Flag Site while trying to find out info on an old 38 star flag. The flag has been in our family for several generations at least. I found it in my father possesions after he passed. I don't know anything about the history of the flag and there isn't anyone else in the family to ask. I have been researching it on the web, but so far have not found anything to compare it to. The flag measures 7'8'' x 11'8''. The hoist has what appears to be hemp rope sewn in which comes out at the top & bottom and wraps around 3/4'' metal grommets. The top edge of the flag has a white hem all the way across with buttonholes. I have not been able to find any writng or other distinguishing marks anywhere on the flag. Alot of the stitching is by hand. I am not sure if the material is wool or not. I would greatly appreciate any help identifying the origin and original use of this neat old flag. I am unable to include a photo at this time, but I will as soon as I can. Thank You Very Much!!!
     
  2. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Hello newblue: Your flag is almost certainly made of wool bunting, probably with cotton stars sewn on. Can you tell us how the stars are arranged? In rows, in circles, great star pattern, etc? For info on flag fabrics and flag making methods see "Thirteen Star Flags - Keys to Identification" linked on line at Smithsonian Digital Repository: Item 10088/2420 Regards, Nick
     
  3. newblue44

    newblue44 New Member

    Hello NAVA1974 : The stars on the flag are in rows. The first , third & fifth rows have 8 stars each. The second & fourth rows have 7 & step over one star to the right. Like this XXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXX

    Sorry for the crude drawing but I don't have picture to send.
    So far I haven't been able to find any examples of this star pattern.
    The other design feature which is puzzeling is the hem across the top edge of the flag with button holes. I will check out the link you suggested on flag construction in hopes I find something similar. Thank you very much for your advise. If you can any further assistance from my description, it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  4. newblue44

    newblue44 New Member

    Hello again NAVA 1974 : I didn't realize that you thought I was talkig about a 13 star flag until I looked at the link. The flag I am talking about is a 38 star flag. I have researched it some but have not found a match for the star pattern or the hem across the top. I would like to find out what the hem across the top was used for. Thank you again for your help. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  5. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Hello newblue: The book may be titled "Thirteen star flags..." but it covers flag manufacture through the 19th century so it will have details of flag construction of the 38 star flag era.

    Since star patterns were totally unregulated until 1912 the pattern on your flag is no more or less "official" than many other patterns.

    As far as the flag's history goes, there aren't many antique flags that "tell us" much about their past unless they come with photos or affidavits. Your family's flag could have been used from a commercial or government building or small ship. Could have been used as a backdrop in a meeting hall, too. I think it is too large to have been used as a casket flag.

    Hope my info has been of some small use.
     

Share This Page