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U.S. 22 Star Flag Converted to a 26 Star Flag

Sub-collection: U.S. 22 Star Flags

Rare U.S. 22 Star Flag 1819-1820 Converted to a 26 Star Flag.
This U.S. 22 Star Flag was converted to a 26 star flag to represent the new state of Michigan as our 26th State. This handmade wool flag is one of the uncommon of U.S. Flags, a 22 star flag. There was never an official 22 star flag in history. Alabama the 22nd state entered the Union on 14 December 1819 followed quickly by Maine as the 23rd state on 15 March 1820 making then next official flag the 23 star flag.

The few 22 star flags that were made were during the three months and a day period between the admission of Alabama and Maine, and few have survived intact. This exemplar started its existence with stars arranged in horizontal rows of 6-5-6-5. Later it was modified by the addition of four more stars for a total of 26, indicating that this flag was used between 1819 and 1837, when the modifications ended, even though the canton contains room for additional stars.

Flags that were converted or upgraded to keep the star count current are representative of the traits of American individualism, ingenuity and thrift - home made flags represented a commitment of time and materials for individual families, and updating them was an economical way to keep them current.

• Sold via Cowan's Auction, Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Zaricor Flag Collection, 2010.

ZFC Significant Flag


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

Physical Characteristics of Antique Flags, Antique US Flag Assessment Guidelines, Dave Martucci's FLAG PAGES, 9 November 2011, from:

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 68.5
Length of Fly 116.5


Width of Union/Canton 38
Length of Union/Canton 40


Comments on Star Measurements 6/2/5/1/6/1/5 horizontal rows or a "scatter" pattern
Was a 6-5-6-5 likely converted to a 24 & then a 26 by the same family


Width of 1st Stripe 4.5
Width of 3rd Stripe 4.5
Width of 8th Stripe 5.5
Width of Last Stripe 4.5
Size of Hoist 0.75


Is it framed? no


Number of Stars 22
How are the stars embeded? Applique
Are there stars on obverse? yes
Are there stars on reverse? yes
Comments on Stars 22 stars flag converted to 26 stars flag.


Number of Stripes 13
Color of Top Stripe Red
Color of Bottom Stripe Red
Has a Blood Stripe? no
Comments on Stripes The fly is constructed of 13 hand-sewn, wool stripes


Description of Crest/Emblem 22 star flag converted to a 26


Nation Represented United States


Fabric Wool


Stitching Hand
Comments on Stitching hand-sewn double-appliqué


Comments on Method of Attachmen no attachment
Method of Attachment Sleeve


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.
Research Documents

Public Copy & Signs
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.


Condition Fair
Damage Scattered holes in canton and flag; scattered spotting and staining.
Displayable yes


Date 1822-1837