OBVERSE 2
OBVERSE 2

OBVERSE 2

Cropped catalog scan

Cropped catalog scan

Book Photo

Book Photo

cropped obverse - 2

cropped obverse - 2

ZFC0617

36 Star "Grand Luminary" Lincoln Mourning Flag.

Sub-collection: Mastai - Early American Flags

36 Star U.S. "Grand Luminary" - President Abraham Lincoln Mourning Flag.
This 36 star grand luminary flag's history is rich; it was used in Providence, Rhode Island, as a mourning flag after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It was formerly part of the acclaimed collection of noted antique dealer Mr. Boleslaw Mastai and his wife Marie-Louise d'Otrange Mastai, formerly of New York City, and later Amagansett, Long Island. Their collection was the result of fifty years of collecting, research and study by the late husband-wife team. Mastai, started collecting in the early 20th century and amassed to greatest private flag collection in the United States; which he detailed in his landmark book The Stars and The Stripes; The American Flag from Birth of the Republic to the Present, published by Alfred Knopf, New York 1973; which was hailed as a revolution and established the American Flag as both folk art and social history.

Although its popularity had waned during the American Civil War, the grand luminary arrangement of the stars to form one great star still held some degree of favor at the end of the Civil War. In this small silk flag, the stars are formed into a large star centered on a star that is slightly larger than the stars composing the points of the great star. All were applied to the light blue silk canton with white paint. A black silk crepe border was added to this flag during the period of official mourning for the death of President Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated on the evening of April 14th, 1865 and who died the next morning. Flags were placed in mourning, which in Victorian parlance also meant bordering all or some of the edges of a flag in black crepe. Some flags with inked black borders also survive.




April 15, 1865 New York Herald Extra Edition (reproduction 1885), announcing President's Lincoln's death. ZFC0324




Crepe, used to trim flags as a picture frame border, is the fabric most associated with mourning. 19th century Americans were forced to deal with death on a much larger scale than we face today and the War Between the states claimed lives from practically every American family. Death was so prevalent that mourning customs and rituals were refined from several centuries of superstitions and beliefs as a way of showing proper respect for the deceased. These customs called for changes in flags, clothing, home decor and even in one's way of life all of which are today somewhat difficult to comprehend. It was a time when families perhaps needed the support of the community more than at any other time; they were grieving and yet were expected to shoulder the burden of family responsibilities and overwhelming grief. Mourning was a way for individuals to share grief and gain compassion. The same was true of the nation.

According the printed history of this flag this band of crepe, which surrounds the Great star, was never removed, and the flag was used to mourn other assassinated Presidents, including John F. Kennedy.

Exhibition History:

First Presidio Exhibit
(ZFC0617)
36-Star Grand Luminary United States Mourning Flag

Exhibited in The American Flag, I and II

Second Presidio Exhibit, 2003 - GALLERY V
(ZFC0617)
36-Star Grand Luminary United States Mourning Flag

Chicago Meeting December, 2003
(ZFC0617)
36-Star Grand Luminary United States Mourning Flag


University of California - Santa Cruz
Board of Councilors Meeting, 7 June 2012
Rare Flags Exhibit


Publication History:
Madaus, Howard M., Dr, Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict. Santa Cruz: VZ Publications, 2006, p. 90-91.

Depicted in Mastai (1973), p. 155.
Depicted in American Flags, p.57.
Depicted in The American Flag, pp. 90-1.

Provenance:
Acquired by Boleslaw Mastai at estate auction in Providence, Rhode Island.
Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC0617) in 2002 from the Mastai Flag Collection through auction at Sotheby's of New York City.

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.

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

The Many Constellations of Old Glory, Historical Flags of Our Ancestors!, 25 October 2011, from: http://www.loeser.us/flags/us_flags.html

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

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.



Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 25.75
Length of Fly 36.25

Stars

Comments on Star Measurements Grand luminary/Great star flag with black mourning crepe.

Frame

Is it framed? yes
Frame Height 33.75
Frame Length 43.75

Stars

Number of Stars 36
How are the stars embeded? Painted
Are there stars on obverse? no
Are there stars on reverse? no

Stripes

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

Nationality

Nation Represented United States

Fabric

Fabric Silk

Attachment

Method of Attachment Whip-stitched

Applica

Applique Sides Single Faced = Mirror Image Reverse

PDF Files
Gallery Copy

Documentation

Public Copy & Signs



Condition

Condition Good
Displayable yes

Date

Date 1865

Exhibits

Exhibition Copy First Presidio Exhibit
(ZFC0617)
36-STAR GRAND LUMINARY UNITED STATES MOURNING FLAG
Date: 1865
Media: Silk with painted stars; all hand sewn
Comment: Although its popularity had waned during the Civil War, the grand luminary arrangement of the stars to form one great star still held some degree of favor at the end of the Civil War. In this small silk flag, the stars are formed into a large star centered around a star that is slightly larger than the stars composing the points of the great star. All were applied to the light blue silk canton with white paint. A black silk crepe border was added to this flag during the period of official mourning for the death of President Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated on the evening of April 14th, 1865 and who died the next morning. Flags were draped in black crepe, which in Victorian parlance also meant bordering all or some of the edges of a flag.
Provenance: Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC0617) in 2002 from the Mastai Flag Collection of New York City through auction at Sothebys.


Second Presidio Exhibit, 2003 - GALLERY V
(ZFC0617)
36-Star Grand Luminary United States Mourning Flag
Date: 1865 36 Stars: July 4, 1865-July 3, 1867 (Nevada statehood October 31,1864)
Media: Silk; hand-sewn with painted stars
Comment: Although its popularity had waned during the Civil War, the Grand Luminary arrangement of the stars to form one great star still found some degree of favor at the end of that conflict. In this small silk flag, 35 stars are formed into one large one centered on a slightly larger star. All were applied to the light blue silk canton with white paint. A black silk crepe border was added to this flag during the period of official mourning for the death of President Abraham Lincoln. He was assassinated on the evening of April 14, 1865, and died the next morning. Flags across the country were draped in black crepe; which in Victorian-era parlance meant there were borders of black on some or all the edges. Some flags with inked black borders also survive.
Provenance: Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC0617) in 2002 from the Mastai Flag Collection through auction at Sothebys of New York City.


Chicago Meeting December, 2003
(ZFC0617)
36-Star Grand Luminary United States Mourning Flag
Date: 1865 36 Stars: July 4, 1865-July 3, 1867 (Nevada statehood October 31,1864)
Media: Silk; hand-sewn with painted stars
Comment: Although its popularity had waned during the Civil War, the Grand Luminary arrangement of the stars to form one great star still found some degree of favor at the end of that conflict. In this small silk flag, 35 stars are formed into one large one centered on a slightly larger star. All were applied to the light blue silk canton with white paint. A black silk crepe border was added to this flag during the period of official mourning for the death of President Abraham Lincoln. He was assassinated on the evening of April 14, 1865, and died the next morning. Flags across the country were draped in black crepe, which in Victorian-era parlance meant there were borders of black on some or all the edges. Some flags with inked black borders also survive.
Provenance: Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC0617) in 2002 from the Mastai Flag Collection through auction at Sothebys of New York City.


University of California - Santa Cruz
Board of Councilors Meeting, 7 June 2012

Rare Flags Exhibit

Santa Cruz, CA, June 7, 2012: The Zaricor Flag Collection exhibited 34 flags and artifacts at the University of California Santa Cruz Campus for the Board of Councilors Meeting.

36 Star United States
Grand Luminary Mourning Flag

Date: 1865

Media: Hand sewn silk with painted stars.

Comment: Although its popularity had waned during the Civil War, the grand
luminary arrangement of the stars to form one great star still held some degree of
favor at the end of the American Civil War. The symbolism of the grand luminary
or great star was a graphic representation of our national motto, E Pluribus
Unum or Out of Many, One, which had been popularized by the War of 1812
privateer Captain Samuel Reid.
In this small silk flag, the stars are formed into a large star centered on a
star that is slightly larger than the stars composing the points of the great star. All
were hand applied to the light blue silk canton with white paint.
A black silk crepe border was added to this flag during the period of official
mourning for the death of President Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated on
the evening of April 14, 1865 and who died the next morning. Flags were draped
in black crepe, which in Victorian parlance also meant bordering all or some of
the edges of a flag.
After this flag was used as a mourning flag after the assassination of
Abraham Lincoln, the band of crepe, which surrounds the flag, was never
removed, and the flag was used to mourn other assassinated President,
John F. Kennedy.

Provenance: Acquired at auction by the Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC0617) in
2002 from the Boleslaw and Marie Louise D'Otrange Mastai Estate via Sotheby's
Auctions, New York, New York. www.FlagCollection.com

Publications

Publication Copy Madaus, Howard M., Dr, Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict. Santa Cruz: VZ Publications, 2006, p. 90-91.

36-Star Grand Luminary United States Mourning Flag

Although its popularity had waned during the Civil War, the Grand Luminary arrangement of the stars to form one great star still found some degree of favor at the end of that conflict. In this small silk flag, 35 small stars are formed into one star surrounding a central enlarged star. All were applied to the light blue silk canton with white paint. A black silk crepe border was added to this flag during the period of mourning for the death of President Abraham Lincoln. He was assassinated on the evening of April 14, 1865, and died the next morning. As the country mourned, everything from buildings to flags were draped in black crepe, which in Victorian-era parlance symbolized the nations grief. While most flags were in black silk crepe, some flags with inked black borders also survive.
Date: 1865
Size: 26.5" hoist x 36" fly
36 Stars: July 4, 1865 July 3, 1867 (Nevada statehood October 31,1864)
Media: Silk with hand-painted stars; silk crepe border added later
Provenance: Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection in 2002 from the Mastai Flag Collection through auction at Sothebys of New York City.

Druckman, Nancy, Jeffery Kohn, The American Flag: Designs for a Young Nation, New York, Abrams, 2003.P.57.
Flag Books
The Stars and The Stripes - Mastai

The Stars and The Stripes - Mastai