Obverse Detail

Obverse Detail


U.S. 46 Star Flag conversion into a 47 Star Flag.

Sub-collection: Star Spangled Banner Flag House

U.S. 47 Star Flag conversion from a 46 Star Flag.
This large wool flag was converted into a 47-star flag by adding a star to a 46-star flag. One can see the odd star on the lower fly side of the canton. It was donated to the Star Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore in 1963 by Mrs. Alexander F. Jenkins (who also donated ZFC0054, a 45 star US Flag on the same day.) This flag is unmarked, but its companion flag is marked "United Bank Building" which is, doubtless, a reference to the United Bank, a Baltimore financial institution since 1839. This had led to the speculation that it is likely that that institution used this flag as well.

On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state to enter the Union. However, Arizona quickly followed with congressional recognition of its statehood on February 12 that year. The two new stars were added to Old Glory on July 4th, bringing the total to 48.

Since few manufacturers are known to have produced a 47-star flag, most are conversions. (See ZFC2282 for an example of a flag believed to have been originally constructed as a 47 star flag.) This was due to the short time interval between the admissions of New Mexico and Arizona.

However, there may be another explanation for the creation of 47 star flags. While concrete proof is lacking, the explanation for this unusual flag may be found in earlier events.

In 1905, the inhabitants of the Indian Territory, both white and Indian, approved a constitution for a proposed new "State of Sequoyah," in honor of the distinguished Cherokee leader Sequoyah. Congress rejected this petition for statehood and required that the proposed Indian Territory unite with the neighboring Oklahoma Territory. The union resulted in the new State of Oklahoma, recognized on November 16, 1907. The 47-star flag may well date to 1906 when it seemed possible that Sequoyah and Oklahoma would both join the Union.

This flag is a companion Piece to ZFC0054

Exhibition History:
Display/Presentation History
This flag's image was displayed in an oral presentation at the 6th Annual Flag Symposium sponsored by The Flag House and Star Spangled Banner Museum, in Baltimore, MD, April 9, 2005. The presentation was made by Howard Madaus on "The Other 48s" a look at the evolution of the 48 star US Flag and the various star patterns it engendered.

Provenance: Acquired by purchase in 1996 from the Star Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum, Baltimore, MD.

ZFC Significant Flag


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.

46 Star Flag - (1908-1912) (U.S.), Flags of the World, 12 November 2011, from: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us-1908.html

47 Star Flag -unofficial- (U.S.), Flags of the World, 12 November 2011, from:

Corporate Information, United Bank, 12 November 2011, from:

State of Sequoyah, Wikipedia, 12 November 2011, from:

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 100
Length of Fly 133.5


Width of Union/Canton 51.5
Length of Union/Canton 59


Size of Stars 4.25


Width of 1st Stripe 7.5
Width of 3rd Stripe 7.25
Width of 8th Stripe 7.5
Width of Last Stripe 6.75
Size of Hoist 1.75


Is it framed? no


Number of Stars 47
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 Wool
Comments on Fabric Bunting


Stitching Machine


Thread Material Cotton


Method of Attachment Grommets





Condition Excellent
Damage White disclored to yellow.
Displayable yes