The Old Print Shop

1776-1876. Centennial patriotic American Flag.


  • MEDIUM: Fabric flag,

    DATE: 1876.

  • EDITION SIZE: Flag size, 28 x 45 3/4" (71.2 x 114.5 cm) Overall framed size 34 x 52" (86.4 x 132 cm)

  • DESCRIPTION: Centennial patriotic American Flag. The flag’s rich blue canton is spectacular, with eighty-two, five-pointed, rayed stars printed in white and arranged to read “1776” and “1876.” The flag’s design is completed with thirteen alternating red and white stripes. The flag is a three-piece, machine-sewn construction.<br><br> In the lead-up to the Nation’s Centennial in 1876, flag makers and individuals created celebrative designs for the Nation’s hundredth birthday. There were no official design restrictions on what could be produced. It is no surprise that, on the occasion of the Centennial, creativity in flag design was not the exception but the rule. <br><br> The cantons from this period presented an array of geometric abstractions. Great star patterns, referred to by Oliver Wendell Holmes, as the “starry flower of Liberty”, were popular from 1818 onward, resurfaced in Centennial flags. The lively assemblage of many white stars into one great stellar design is perhaps the most beautiful visualization of the goal set forth by the original Flag Resolution of 1777, “...13 stars white in a blue field representing a new constellation.” Stars arranged in medallions or starburst patterns were popular among flag makers and consumers, yet this “1776/1876” remains to be one of the more spectacular and celebratory designs to come from the Centennial celebrations.<br><br> This particular flag has an illegible stamp from an undertaker in Massachusetts.


  • CONDITION: Condition: Somewhat mellowed overall with some wear and minor loss along the bars. Some staining along the heading where it was likely attached to a wooden staff.


Related Products