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ZFC0038

39 Star Unofficial U.S. Flag.

Sub-collection: Star Spangled Banner Flag House

39 Star Unofficial U.S. Flag in anticipation of the admission of Colorado and Dakota into the Union.
According to family tradition, Mrs. George Kennedy of Philadelphia prepared this flag during the Centennial Celebration of 1876. The 39 stars reflect the anticipation that the Territories of Colorado and Dakota would be admitted into the Union. While Colorado would be admitted as the 38th state, Dakota Territory's internal politics would prevent its admission (and then as two states) until 1889.

In Dakota Territory, wrangling over the location of the new states capitol prevented a unanimity needed to apply for statehood for several more years. Several flag manufacturers during the next decade would anticipate Dakota's Territory entry into the Union as a single state and also produced flags with thirty-nine stars; however, when the Territory was finally admitted in November of 1889, it had divided into two states. Accordingly there never was an official thirty-nine star U.S. flag.

Accordingly there never was an official 39-star U.S. flag. These flags were first produced during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant and were used during the administrations of Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison.

Exhibition History:
First Presidio Exhibit
39-Star United States Flag, Unofficial

Second Presidio Exhibit, 2003 - Gallery V
39-Star United States Flag, Unofficial

Publication History:
Madaus, Howard M., Dr, Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict. Santa Cruz: VZ Publications, 2006, p. 100.

Provenance: Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC0038) in 1996 from the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Collection of Baltimore, MD.

ZFC Significant Flag
Item is Framed

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.

Aikman, Lonnelle, New Stars for Old Glory, National Geographic Society, July, 1959.

U.S. Flags With Unofficial Number Of Stars, Flags of the World, 12 November 2011, from: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us-unoff.html

39 Star Flag -unofficial- (U.S.), Flags of the World, 12 November 2011, from: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us-39.html

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection



Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 54
Length of Fly 86

Union/Canton

Width of Union/Canton 41
Length of Union/Canton 28.5

Stars

Size of Stars 4

Stripes

Width of 1st Stripe 5
Width of 3rd Stripe 4.5
Width of 8th Stripe 4.5
Width of Last Stripe 5
Size of Hoist 2.5

Frame

Is it framed? yes
Frame Height 60
Frame Length 93

Stars

Number of Stars 39
How are the stars embeded? Sewn
Are there stars on obverse? yes
Are there stars on reverse? yes
Comments on Stars The stars are arranged in diagonal rows that extend across the canton from corner to corner, 1-3-5-7-7-7-5-3-1
Star Pattern The stars are arranged in diagonal rows that extend across the canton from corner to corner, 1-3-5-7-7-7-5-3-1

Stripes

Number of Stripes 13
Color of Top Stripe Red
Color of Bottom Stripe Red
Has a Blood Stripe? no
Comments on Stripes The wool/bunting field is composed of 13 horizontal alternating red and white stripes each about 5 inches wide.

Crest/Emblem

Description of Crest/Emblem Inset into the field, and extending through seven stripes from the top, is a dark blue canton (union) 41 inches wide on the fly x 28.5 inches, with 39 stars, each about 4 inches across, appliqu├ęd on the obverse and reverse sides.

Nationality

Nation Represented United States

Fabric

Fabric Wool
Comments on Fabric Lightly woven
Bunting

Stitching

Stitching Machine
Comments on Stitching Except blue field and stars which are hand-stitched.

Attachment

Comments on Method of Attachmen Attached to its staff by ties or a halyard that locked into the brass grommets worked into each end of the canvas heading.
Method of Attachment Grommets

Applica

Applique Sides Single Faced = Mirror Image Reverse

Documentation

Documents




Drawings


Condition

Condition Fair
Damage Significant tear and damage
Stars show a lot of deterioration
Soiled overall.
Very bad
Displayable yes

Date

Date 1876

Exhibits

Exhibition Copy Exhibition History
First Presidio Exhibit
(ZFC0038)
39-STAR UNITED STATES FLAG, UNOFFICIAL
Date: Reputedly 1876-1877
Medium: Wool bunting with cotton stars; machine stitched with hand stitched stars
Comment: According to family tradition, this flag was prepared by Mrs. George Kennedy of Philadelphia during the Centennial Celebration of 1876. Mrs. Kennedy not only anticipated that Colorado would be admitted to the Union but that Dakota Territory (then a single political entity not divided as it would later be) would enter the Union as well. Her estimation regarding Colorado proved correct. However, in Dakota Territory, wrangling over the location of the new state's capitol prevented a unanimity needed to apply for statehood for several more years. Several flag manufacturers during the next decade would anticipate Dakota Territory's entry into the Union as a single state and also produced flags with thirty-nine stars; however, when the Territory was finally admitted in November of 1889, it had divided into two states. Accordingly there never was an official thirty-nine star U.S. flag.
Provenance: Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC0038) in 1996 from the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Collection of Baltimore, MD.


Second Presidio Exhibit, 2003 - GALLERY V
(ZFC0038)
39-Star United States Flag, Unofficial

Date: About 1876-1877 39 Stars: Unofficial (Dakota Territory)
Media: Wool bunting with cotton stars; machine-stitched with hand-stitched stars
Comment: According to family tradition, this flag was prepared by Mrs. George Kennedy of Philadelphia during the Centennial celebrations of 1876. Mrs. Kennedy not only anticipated that Colorado would be admitted to the Union but that Dakota Territory (then still a single political entity) would enter the Union as well. Her estimation regarding Colorado proved correct. In Dakota Territory, however, wrangling over the location of the would-be new state's capital prevented the unanimity needed to apply for statehood. During the next decade several flag manufacturers, anticipating Dakota Territory's entry into the Union as a single state, produced flags with 39 stars. However, when the territory was finally admitted in November 1889, it had divided into two states. Accordingly there never was an official 39-star U.S. flag.

Provenance: Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC0038) in 1996 from the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Collection of Baltimore, MD.

Publications

Publication Copy Publication History:

Madaus, Howard M., Dr, Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict. Santa Cruz: VZ Publications, 2006, p. 100.

"39-Star United States Flag
"One of the Flags That Never Were"

According to family tradition, this flag was prepared by Mrs. George Kennedy of Philadelphia during the Centennial celebrations of 1876. Mrs. Kennedy not only anticipated that Colorado would be admitted to the Union but that Dakota Territory-then still a single
political entity-would enter the Union as well. Her estimation regarding Colorado proved correct. In Dakota Territory, however, wrangling over the location of the would-be new state's capital prevented the unanimity needed to apply for statehood. During the Centennial celebrations several flag manufacturers, anticipating Dakota Territory's entry into the Union as a single state, produced flags with 39 stars. However, when the territory was finally admitted in November 1889, it had divided into two states. Accordingly there never was an official 39-star U.S. flag. These flags were first produced during the presidency
of Ulysses S. Grant and were used during the administrations of Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison.

Date: About 1876 - 1877
Size: 54" hoist x 86" fly
39 Stars: Unofficial (Dakota Territory)
Media: Wool bunting with cotton stars; machine-stitched with hand-stitched stars
Provenance: Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection in 1996 from the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Collection of Baltimore, MD.
ZFC0038"