13 Star US Flag, four-five-four star pattern design with a large center star, Early Federal Period.
This wool, 4-5-4 star pattern with a large center star 13 Star United States flag, is one of the earliest documented American flags in existence. From the Old Sandy Point Lighthouse, New York in the 1790s, it was made shortly after the government was formed and flown under the authority of the Department of Treasury's Lighthouse Establishment, one of the federal government's first bureaucracies.
The flag is a sturdy, if crudely made maritime flag, which utilizes twill woven heavy cotton for both the stars and the header; its most startling feature is the large center star in the middle of the center row. The use of a large center star was a fixture in early American flags, but its appearance on a, period 13 star flag indicates that this motif has been used on United States flag since the beginnings of the Republic.
This star pattern is remarkably similar to another rectilinear star pattern, with a larger center star, as depicted in the 1815 edition Mason Locke Weems' The Life of Washington. In it Plate 114 "Surrender of Cornwallis" purports to illustrate Washington's Headquarters at Yorktown, which is flying a similar American flag. The occurrence of this image in a popular pamphlet supports the theory that this star pattern was in the "public imagination" since the earliest days of the U.S.
The Old Sandy Point Lighthouse, designed and built in 1764 by Isaac Conro, is located near the very tip of a hook-shaped sandy spit, in New Jersey, and is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. After the Revolutionary War, a dispute over dominion of the lighthouse broke out between New Jersey and New York. However, Congress resolved the dispute on August 7, 1789 when they gave control of all lighthouses to the federal government. As a result, lighthouses became one of the first civil establishments that needed to be identified as federal rather than state property.
Crow Art Partnership, Dallas, Texas
Night of Flags
In celebration of George Washington's Birthday
The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in California
Patriotic Services Committee
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Octagon House, San Francisco
5:30pm - 7:30 pm
• Old Sandy Point Lighthouse, 1789
• Acquired by Richard H. Keller of Great War Militaria, Chambersburg, PA until 1985.
• Crow Art Partnership Collection, Dallas Texas, until 2007.
• Acquired at auction from the Crow Art Partnership Collection, Dallas, Texas, via Heritage Auction Inc., at the 24 June 2007, Civil War Grand Format Auction, in Gettysburg, PA.
ZFC Significant Flag
Item is Framed