Image of USS Tennennee

Image of USS Tennennee




U.S. Naval Trapunto - USS Tennessee.

Sub-collection: Trapuntos

U.S. Naval Trapunto from the USS Tennessee.
This is a U.S. naval trapunto identified to the USS Tennessee. Embroidered across the top of the piece is, "In Remembrance of My Cruise in China, Japan and Philippine Waters", a display of six 48 star U.S. flags on which an embroidered image of a U.S. Armored Cruiser Tennessee is placed. Amongst the flags is an upright anchor on which is perched an American eagle. On the shank of the anchor is a stylized American shield into which a photograph of a sailor or officer could have been inserted. Beneath the flags is another insert shaped like a life preserver, on either side of which are embroidered images of crossed naval guns and a stand of cannon balls. At the very bottom is a scroll with the motto E Pluribus Unum.

The 48 star flags in this image permit for a date range of 1912 to 1916 for this trapunto, after the adoption of the 48 star flag and before the Tennessee was rechristened the USS Memphis and subsequently lost. A trapunto is a decoratively embroidered commemorative fabric. Making a trapunto involves the addition of padding behind a piece of silk, upon which elaborate designs are embroidered to create a three-dimensional image. It was not uncommon for trapuntos of the time to contain numerous patriotic symbols.

Countless trapuntos were made and sold by the George Washington Co. in Yokohama, Japan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their market included American soldiers and sailors stationed in the Far East during the Spanish American War, the Philippine-American War, the Boxer Rebellion and the Great White Fleet.
In this trapunto, the large anchor in the center upon which the United States flags and shield are resting clearly indicates a naval association. Since it is not personalized, it is likely that this was a stock item purchased by an American bluejacket while cruising in the Far East.

Compare with other Trapuntos in the Zaricor Flag Collection: ZFC0150, ZFC0284, ZFC0289, ZFC0742, ZFC1441, ZFC1489, ZFC2219 and ZFC2258.

Provenance: Acquired by purchase in 1992, Moss Landing, CA

ZFC Important Flag
Item is Framed


Madaus, Howard M.- Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict, VZ Publications, Santa Cruz, 2006.

October 18th to October 25th - Yokohama, Japan, The Great White Fleet, 7 May 2012, from: http://www.greatwhitefleet.info/The_Great_White_Fleet_Japan.html

Larson, Admiral Charles R., Admiral, USN, Letter to Mr. John L. Trost, Lansaster, NY, 08/22/1996, Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.

USS Tennessee, Wikipedia, 7 May 2012, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tennessee_%28ACR-10%29

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 24
Length of Fly 43


Is it framed? yes
Frame Height 24
Frame Length 43
Comments on Frame Wood shadow box frame


Are there stars on obverse? no
Are there stars on reverse? no


Has a Blood Stripe? no


Nation Represented United States


Fabric Silk


Stitching Hand


Method of Attachment None


Applique Sides Single Sided = Design on one side only


All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.


Condition Good
Damage Used.
Displayable yes


Date 1912-1916