U.S. 28 Star "Grand Luminary" National Color, 1845 - 1846, Louisiana Militia, Mexican-American War, SSBFH.
This period example 28 star United States flag was made to indicate the admission of Texas as the 28th state on December 29, 1845; and would remain accurate until the admission of Iowa on December 28 1846, a period of 364 days; correspondingly 28 star flags are quite rare. This U.S. National Flag of 28 Stars is made in a "Grand Luminary" star pattern; and contains the national colors of the 4th Louisiana Militia, raised in1846, but disband before seeing any combat.

Prior to The Mexican American War in 1846 The US national flag was not taken into land battles. Only state, militia or unit designating flags such as regimentals were taken into battle by the army. The Mexican American War was the first and the Spanish American/Philippine Insurrection conflicts were the last in which the United States Army used the national flag in the "field" or any battle. Since the revolution the Continental and subsequent US Navy has used the national flag as an ensign on military and government ships.

The 28 gold painted stars on this flag represent a design whose popularity spanned nearly the entire 19th century. The Grand Luminary star pattern, (sometimes called great-star or great flower) represented the idea of the national motto E Pluribus Unum "Out of many, one". Each star is isolated and individual, nevertheless all work together to create a unified pattern and a Union of states.

Exhibition History:
First Presidio Exhibit
Grand Luminary Twenty-Eight-Star United States National Color

Second Presidio Exhibit, 2003 Gallery II
28-Star Grand Luminary United States National Color

Publication History:
Madaus, Howard M., Dr, Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict. Santa Cruz: VZ Publications, 2006, pp. 44-45.

Busico, Michalene, "To Have or to Hold." Collection, Published by Robb Report, June 2014, p.15.

• Handmade in and for the City of New Orleans, 1846.
• Gifted by City of New Orleans to Colonel (later General) Horatio Davis, The Montezuma Regiment, ( 4th Louisiana Volunteer Militia) , 1846.
• By descent in the Davis family until 1962.
• Gifted to the Star Spangled Banner Flag House and Museum (SSBFH) by Davis descendant Mrs. Frank M. Rogers in 1962.
• Temporarily returned to Mrs. Rogers in 1965.
• Permanently returned to SSBFH, 1965.
• Purchased by private treaty by the Zaricor Flag Collection from the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Collection of Baltimore, MD, in 1996.


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.

Cooper, Grace Rogers, Thirteen-Star Flags: Keys to Identification, Smithsonian Institution Press, City of Washington, 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

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection