U.S. 42 Star Flag Converted into a 45 Star flag.

Sub-collection: U.S. 45 Star Flags

45 Star U.S. Flag Conversion from a 42 star flag, 1896.
This Conversion Flag was home-made and machine-sewn on cotton fabric. In the 19th century the United States was a dynamic country with new states joining the Union. Between 1803 and 1896 the United States flag enjoyed 28 different incarnations. To mitigate both extra effort and cost it was common for Americans flag makers, both vernacular and professional, to convert obsolete star counts into current flags by adding stars to the canton. This flag is such an example, gaining it the identification of Conversion Flag. This flag was updated by sewing additional stars to the obverse and reverse.

One interesting feature of this flag is that the stars are positioned differently on either side of the star field. On the obverse the stars were added near the hoist between horizontal rows 1&2, 3&4 and 5&6. On the reverse they appear more crowded, having been placed between rows 2&3, 3&4 and 4&5. The added stars are very similar to the original stars, leading to the speculation that they were made by the same hand, presumably the maker who crafted the 12 small buttonholes for attachment along the twill weave hoist.

Conversion flags are symbolic of American ingenuity and thrift and represent a desirable attribute for collectors. These flag are sometimes also called Updated Flags or Modified Flags.

Provenance: Acquired at auction from Cowan's Auctions, Cincinnati, Ohio, 4-5 Dec. 2008.

ZFC Significant Flag


Madaus, Howard M.- Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict, VZ Publications, Santa Cruz, 2006. Pp.144-145.

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 68.5
Length of Fly 105


Width of Union/Canton 35.25
Length of Union/Canton 43


Comments on Star Measurements 6-3-6-6-6-6-6-6 vertical rows. Three stars inserted to convert a 42 into a 45
Size of Stars 4.75


Width of 1st Stripe 5.5
Width of 3rd Stripe 5.5
Width of 8th Stripe 5.5
Width of Last Stripe 5.5
Size of Hoist 2.75


Is it framed? no


Number of Stars 45
How are the stars embeded? Sewn
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


Nation Represented United States


Fabric Cotton


Stitching Hand


Type of Weave Twill


Comments on Method of Attachmen 12 small eyelets.
Eyelet or grommett through header.
Method of Attachment Whip-stitched


Applique Sides Double Faced = Reads correctly on both sides


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, solied
Displayable yes


Date 1889-1907