31 Star Antique American Flag – California – Circa 1850 #32650

31 Star Antique American Flag – California – Circa 1850 #32650

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31 Star Antique American Flag – California – Circa 1850 #32650

A amazing and very rare 31 Star Antique Flag, California

Circa 1850-1858

Zachary Taylor was President

A rare pre-Civil War Flag

Flag Size 22×38 This is a rare opportunity to own a very rare flag.

Incredible rare thirty-one star flag with exceedingly rare star pattern called a Medallion, Halo.

It was recently found in old home in the Gettysburg Virginia area.  It has been in their family since the before the Civil War. The owner offered it to me for purchase. The original owner does not wish to be disturbed.

Thirty-one star flags are extremely rare, both because they were official for only eight years and because they were made before the Civil War.  Flags predating the Civil War time period (1861-1865) are the rarest and most desirable of all US flags.  Prior to the Civil War, Americans did not typically own or display flags for patriotic purposes.  And likewise the military did not regularly use the flag, as it was not until 1834 that the army field artillery was permitted to carry the traditional US flag, and it was not until 1841 that regiments carried it.  For these reasons, flags made prior to the Civil War account for only around 1-in-1000 flags made in the 19th century.

The stars of this flag are arranged in a gorgeous and highly desirable medallion pattern.  This particular medallion includes a large star in the middle, two rings of stars surrounding the large star, and a flanking star in each corner of the canton.  The large canted star in the middle is sometimes referred to as a “center star.”  A center star is different than a great star, a term used to describe a star made up of smaller stars.  A center star is almost always positioned in the very middle of the canton.  The rest of the stars are then positioned around the center star, and form various different patterns.  The center star represents the newest state added to the Union (e.g., California in the case of this thirty-one star flag).  The large outlined center star is called a Haloand is one of the rarest star arrangements on a flag you can find.

Notice that the large center star includes two parts: a bold center star and a surrounding halo.  Haloed flags are extremely attractive and collectible.  The maker of this flag is unknown, but it is clear that the same company produced most, if not all, haloed flags, including flags with thirty, thirty-one, thirty-four, thirty-five, thirty-six, and forty-two stars.  The very earliest printed flags are twenty-six star flags, and they were produced between 1837 and 1845, meaning that this thirty-one star flag is only a few years newer than the very earliest of all printed flags.

The stripes of this particular flag are slightly orange than red.  Such a color is a result of the use of either madder or cochineal to create the red dye, and is common in flags dating between 1850 and 1880.  The orange color of the “red” stripes is very attractive and very desirable.  It usually takes 100 years of age for the red to start turning orange. And how much the flag is exposed to air.

As noted above, the thirty-one star flag represents the inclusion of California to the Union.  California was admitted on September 9th, 1850, and this flag became official on July 4th, 1851.  The thirty-one star flag was official until July 4th, 1858, the time at which the thirty-two star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of Minnesota in the Union.

Frame Size 28×43 We can put museum framing with UV acrylic for a nominal charge.