Around the Museum
38 Star Flag
The following information is taken from an appraisal of the Flag using digital photography and completed in May, 2005 as well as information provided by the onsite observations of a textile conservator who viewed the flag in 2005 as well.
This is a 38-star US Flag measuring 35” x 47” mounted in a black frame. The flag is actually glued to a cardboard backing. The flag is made of cotton and the stripes and the blue field are printed by a process known as “clamp dying”. The stars are arranged in an unusual pattern that is more or less one in the center surrounded by five in the shape of a 5-pointed star which is in turn surrounded by a ring of 10 stars and then a ring of 20 stars with two additional stars placed in the fly corners of the canton. However, the textile conservator believes that the stripes may be painted and only the canton dyed.
The flag has 13 stripes in the conventional arrangement of seven red and six white alternating, with seven next to the canton and six below.
Prior to 1912 there were no Official specifications for the flag’s pattern so there were many variants. This pattern, which is a modified “double wreath” pattern, is rather rare.
The flag is in fair condition with much wear evident.
The 38 star flag became official on July 4, 1877 following the admission of Colorado to the American Union on August 1, 1876. The flag was most likely a souvenir of the US Centennial and was most likely purchased at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876-1877.
The flag was discovered in the attic of a Webster home when the home was being prepared for sale following the owner’s death. The donor brought it to the Museum and provided very little information.