U.S. 32-Star to 34-Star Conversion Flag.

Sub-collection: U.S. 34 Star Flags

U.S. 32-Star to 34-Star Flag Conversion - "Melville".
The construction details of this flag, which is inscribed, "Melville, 60 E. 26th St.", indicate that it began with a 32-star canton that represented Minnesota's admission to the Union. While 32-star flags were official for a year but 32-star flags of any type are very scarce.

Because they became obsolete after only one year, many 32-star flags likely remained unsold in manufacturer's inventories. Then, with the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, demand for 34-star flags rapidly surpassed the supply. The prudent manufacturer of this printed 32-star flag cut out several stars from other flags of the same style, then hand-stitched two of them between the rows to create a new 34-star flag.

Several other examples of printed 32-star flags modified into 34-stars currently survive. Although there is a lack of evidence, there is reason to believe that these printed U.S. flags may have their origins from Annin & Company of New York City; a firm founded in 1847 and that is still in existence now. Made during the presidency of James Buchanan, this flag was in service during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

Provenance: Acquired in 2008 at an Internet auction.


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.

32 Star Flag - (1858-1859) (U.S.), Flags of the World, 20 May 2012, from: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us-1858.html

34 Star Flag - (1861-1863) (U.S.), Flags of the World, 20 May 2012, from: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us-1861.html

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 42
Length of Fly 77


Width of Union/Canton 22.5
Length of Union/Canton 32.5


Comments on Star Measurements 8-8-8-8 horizontal rows with two additional stars in between the 2nd and third and the 4th and 5th rows offset at the hoist.
Size of Stars 2.75


Width of 1st Stripe 3
Width of 3rd Stripe 3
Width of 8th Stripe 3
Width of Last Stripe 3
Size of Hoist 1.25


Is it framed? no


Number of Stars 34
How are the stars embeded? Printed
Are there stars on obverse? yes
Are there stars on reverse? yes


Number of Stripes 13
Color of Top Stripe Red
Color of Bottom Stripe Red
Has a Blood Stripe? no
Comments on Stripes homemade


Nation Represented United States


Fabric Cotton


Stitching Combination
Comments on Stitching Hand & Machine stitching


Type of Weave Plain


Comments on Method of Attachmen homemade with leather reinforcing patches at ends of header
Method of Attachment Gusset & Ties


Applique Sides Single Faced = Mirror Image Reverse


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 Fair
Damage Used, worn, faded, worn, torn, repaired with fabric splitting.
Displayable yes


Date 1861