1863. (WEST VIRGINIA). Thirty-five star U.S. flag. No place: 1863. Glazed cotton printed flag measuring 28 1/4 by 19 1/4 inches, with five-point stars arrayed in a double-medallion pattern with haloed center star; top and bottom stripes red, blue canton extends to the seventh [red] stripe and rests on the eighth [white] stripe; window framed; entire piece measures 30 1/2 by 21 1/2 inches. $18,000.35-star American parade flag commemorating West Virginia statehood, the last official flag during the Civil War, in a handsome window frame.""West Virginia became the second state, following Maine, to break away from an existing state, precipitated by the refusal of most of its counties to be party to Virginia's secession. In 1861, West Virginia found Virginia's secession illegal and formed a new state government in Wheeling, even electing two senators to Congress President Lincoln approved West Virginia's Enabling Act at the end of 1862, with the caveat that abolition be written into the state's constitution. And on June 20, 1863, West Virginia became the 35th state"" (Keim & Keim, 124). The 35-star flag was officially replaced two years later, after Nevada became the 36th state in 1864 (Nevada's flag did not become official until July 4, 1865). Both Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson served under the 35-star flag. ""While Civil War flags escaped much of the mortal rigidity of mechanical mass production, their artistic merit was more particularly due to the delicate design relationship of the elements and to numerous subtle details—such as the directions of the arms of the stars, which are never entirely regimented, as they are on modern flags. And truly no modern replica can either do justice to the artistic character, or render the 'patina,' of one of these antique flags"" (Mastai & Mastai, 124). The stars are arrayed in a double-medallion pattern flanked by corner stars. The large, haloed center star is believed to represent the new state (see Pierce Collection, 19; Druckman & Kohn, 22). Smaller in size than a standard flag, ""parade flags were ephemeral—made to be used only once during a specific event and then discarded"" (Druckman & Kohn, 22). Such flags were also called ""hand-wavers,"" since they were waved at parades and political rallies. Fraying and some loss to flag hoist. Expected soiling and staining; colors bright. An exceptional Civil War flag. (Inventory #: 105385)
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