OBVERSE
OBVERSE

OBVERSE

OBVERSE

OBVERSE

REVERSE

REVERSE

Book Photo

Book Photo

Obverse

Obverse

American Spirit Magazine P.20.

American Spirit Magazine P.20.

American Spirit Magazine P.20. detail

American Spirit Magazine P.20. detail

ZFC0422

U.S. 21 Star Grand Luminary Flag - Illinois.

Sub-collection: Flayderman // Early American

21 Star U.S. "Grand Luminary" Flag, 1818 - 1819, former Norm Flayderman Collection.
The 21-star Grand Luminary flag represented the new state of Illinois, admitted in 1818 when James Monroe was president. It was officially in use for only one year, replaced in 1820 when Maine and Alabama joined the Union.

As previously mentioned, on December 3rd, 1818, Illinois was admitted into the Union as the 21st state. Hence, in accordance with the provisions of the Flag Act of 1818, on July 4th, 1819, a new United States flag with twenty-one stars became official. The makers of this flag evidently were unable to secure wool bunting for the field and canton of the flag they needed and made it entirely of cotton instead. Rather than beginning with a red stripe, they chose to commence the alternating stripes with a white stripe. (While this is heraldically proper, it is unlikely that the makers of this flag knew or cared about the intricacies of heraldry.) Although commencing and ending the United States flag with horizontal red stripes was fast becoming the tradition, nothing in the adoptive legislation specified that the red stripes took this precedence. The makers of this flag chose to arrange the stars in the form of a grand luminary. This pattern, emphasizing the notion of from many one (the direct translation of our Latin national motto E Pluribus Unum) had been popularized during the debate over the 1818 Flag Act by Captain S.G. Reid, whose wife had sewn the first flag of the new design that flew over Congress. Mrs. Reid’s flag bore its twenty stars in this same grand luminary pattern; however, Congress chose not to incorporate the star pattern as part of its legislation. Nevertheless, the grand luminary design remained popular among some flag manufacturers for another sixty years.

This flag is perhaps the most attractive design ever for the Stars and called by Captain Samuel S. C. Reid the"Great Luminary Flag." The stars were arranged to form a large star, sometimes with one central star surrounded by smaller ones or sometimes all of the same size. An unusual characteristic of this flag is the white stripes at the top and bottom of this flag. The law at that time didn't require or forbid such variations, although they appear in very few known flags.

Exhibition History:
First Presidio Exhibit
(ZFC0422)
Twenty-One-Star ("Grand Luminary") United States Flag

Second Presidio Exhibit, 2003 - Gallery II
(ZFC0422)
21-Star "Grand Luminary" United States Flag

Publication History:
Crump, Anne, David Studarus, photographer, "A Grand Old Obsession." American Spirit: Daughters of the American revolution Magazine: July/August 2003: P.20.

Madaus, Howard M., Dr, Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict. Santa Cruz: VZ Publications, 2006, p. 38.

Provenance:
• Flayderman Collection, Fort Lauderdale, FL, until 1997.
• Sold via Butterfields & Butterfields, San Francisco, CA, to the Zaricor Flag Collection 1997.

Sources:



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

Mastai, Boleslaw and Marie-Louise D'Otrange, The Stars and The Stripes: The American Flag as Art and as History from the Birth of the republic to the Present, Knopf, New York, 1973.

Cooper, Grace Rogers, Thirteen-Star Flags: Keys to Identification, Smithsonian Institution Press, City of Washington, 1973.

Samuel Chester Reid, Wikipedia, 24 October 2011, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Chester_Reid

Great Star Flags (U.S.), Flags of the World, 25 October 2011, from: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us-gstar.html

Martucci, David, Great Star Flags, US Flags: Part 5, 25 October 2011, from: http://www.midcoast.com/~martucci/flags/us-hist6.html

N. FLAYDERMAN & CO., INC., 26 October 2011, from: http://www.flayderman.com/#top

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection



Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 76.5
Length of Fly 89

Union/Canton

Width of Union/Canton 35
Length of Union/Canton 33.25

Stars

Size of Stars 3

Stripes

Width of 1st Stripe 5.5
Width of 3rd Stripe 5.5
Width of 8th Stripe 5.75
Width of Last Stripe 5.5
Size of Hoist 1.75

Frame

Is it framed? yes
Frame Height 84
Frame Length 96

Stars

Number of Stars 21
How are the stars embeded? Sewn
Are there stars on obverse? yes
Are there stars on reverse? yes
Comments on Stars The canton bears 21 white cotton, 5-pointed stars, each 3 inches across sewn on obverse and reverse sides, and forming a single "grand luminary star".

Stripes

Number of Stripes 13
Color of Top Stripe White
Color of Bottom Stripe White
Has a Blood Stripe? no
Comments on Stripes The field of this flag is composed of thirteen alternating white and red horizontal stripes, top and bottom stripes white, approximately 5.5 inches wide, and made of cotton, hand stitched together. Inset in the upper, hoist corner, extending only through six stripes, is a cotton union/canton 36 inches w. x 35.5 inches

Fabric

Fabric Cotton

Stitching

Stitching Hand

Weave

Type of Weave Plain

Attachment

Comments on Method of Attachmen The hoist edge of the flag has been doubled over and sewn to form a sleeve, 1.75" wide when flag for a single section of rope that runs its length and extends to fasten it to a halyard.
Method of Attachment Rope

Media PDF
Press PDF
Whose flag is it, anyway?

Documentation

Documents







Drawings




Research Documents



Public Copy & Signs



Press
Whose flag is it, anyway?

Whose flag is it, anyway?


Condition

Condition Fair
Displayable yes

Exhibits

Exhibition Copy First Presidio Exhibit
(ZFC0422)
Twenty-One-Star ("Grand Luminary") United States Flag
Date: 1819-1820
Medium: Cotton; all hand sewn
Comment: On December 3rd, 1818, Illinois was admitted into the Union as the 21st state. Hence, in accordance with the provisions of the Flag Act of 1818, on July 4th, 1819, a new United States flag with twenty-one stars became official. The makers of this flag evidently were unable to secure wool bunting for the field and "canton" of the flag they needed and made it entirely of cotton instead. Rather than beginning with a red stripe, they chose to commence the alternating stripes with a white stripe. (While this is heraldically proper, it is unlikely that the makers of this flag knew or cared about the intricacies of heraldry.) Although commencing and ending the United States flag with horizontal red stripes was fast becoming the tradition, nothing in the adoptive legislation specified that the red stripes took this precedence. The makers of this flag chose to arrange the stars in the form of a "grand luminary". This pattern, emphasizing the notion of "from many one" (the direct translation of our Latin national motto - "E Pluribus Unum") had been popularized during the debate over the 1818 Flag Act by Captain S.G. Reid, whose wife had sewn the first flag of the new design that flew over Congress. Mrs. Reid's flag bore its twenty stars in this same "grand luminary" pattern; however, Congress chose not to incorporate the star pattern as part of its legislation. Nevertheless, the "grand luminary" design remained popular among some flag manufacturers for another sixty years.
Provenance: Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC0422) in 1997; ex-N. Flayderman Collection.


Second Presidio Exhibit, 2003 - Gallery II
(ZFC0422)
21-Star "Grand Luminary" United States Flag

Date: 1819-1820 21 Stars: July 4, 1819-July3, 1820 (Illinois statehood December 3, 1818)
Media: Cotton; hand-sewn
Comment: Following Illinois' admission into the Union, in accordance with the provisions of the Flag Act of 1818 a new United States flag with 21 stars became official. The makers of this specific flag evidently were unable to secure the usual wool bunting for constructing it and instead made it entirely of cotton. Rather than beginning with a red stripe, they chose to commence the alternating stripes with a white one. Although commencing and ending the American flag with horizontal red stripes was fast becoming the established practice, nothing in the relevant legislation specified that the red stripes were to take precedence. The flag makers chose to arrange the stars in the shape of a "Grand Luminary." This pattern emphasized the notion that the country formed a unity out of its many states and territories, as suggested by the nation's Latin motto "E Pluribus Unum." Captain Samuel C. Reid had popularized the star design during the debate over the 1818 Flag Act. His wife had sewn the first flag that flew over Congress. While Mrs. Reid's flag bore the Grand Luminary arrangement, Congress chose not to incorporate that star pattern into its legislation. Nevertheless, that distinctive design remained popular among flag manufacturers for another 60 years.

Publications

Publication Copy Publication Copy:
Crump, Anne, David Studarus, photographer, "A Grand Old Obsession." American Spirit: Daughters of the American revolution Magazine: July/August 2003: P.20. (see images below)

Madaus, Howard M., Dr, Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict. Santa Cruz: VZ Publications, 2006, p. 38.

"21-Star "Grand Luminary"
United States Flag
Following Illinois' admission into the Union, in accordance with the provisions of the Flag Act of 1818 a new United States flag with 21 stars became official. The makers of this specific flag evidently were unable to secure bunting for constructing it and made it entirely of cotton. Rather than beginning with a red stripe, they chose to commence the alternating stripes with a white one. Although commencing and ending the American flag with horizontal red stripes was fast becoming the established practice, nothing in the relevant legislation specified that the red stripes were to take precedence. The flag's makers chose to arrange the stars in the shape of a "Grand Luminary." The star design had been popularized by Captain Samuel C. Reid during the debate over the 1818 Flag Act. His wife had sewn the first flag that flew over Congress. While Mrs. Reid's flag bore the Grand Luminary arrangement, Congress chose not to incorporate that star pattern into its legislation. Nevertheless, that distinctive design remained popular among flag manufacturers for another 60 years. This flag was fabricated during the presidency of James Monroe.
Date: 1819 - 1820
Size: 76.5" hoist x 89" fly
21 Stars: July 4, 1819 - July 3, 1820 (Illinois statehood December 3, 1818)
Media: Cotton; hand-sewn
Provenance: Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection in 1997, formerly in the Norm Flayderman Collection.
ZFC0422