U.S. Patriotic Coverlet, "American Independence" - Mexican-American War - J.S. Washburn, 1848.
An inscription by textile maker J.S. Washburn, who may have been from Fall River, Massachusetts, refers to the Declaration of Independence, which had been publicized 72 years before. However, the coverlet was woven in honor of a recent event: The American military victory over Mexico.
On George Washington's birthday, (February 22, 1848), Philadelphia celebrated the "Buena Vista Festival", marking the first anniversary of General Zachary Taylor's success at the Battle of Buena Vista. Later that year in Philadelphia, on June 7, 1848, the Whigs nominated Taylor for president prior to his electoral victory of that same year.
Framing the central floral pattern of the coverlet are repeated motifs: There is a very stylized eagle derived from the U.S. Great Seal, which alternates with an unidentified domed building. Along the sides of the textile, Masonic symbols replace images of the building. The two pillars with globes at the top are said to symbolize strength and choice. Above, the traditional compass and square, standing for spirituality and morality are shown. A 19th century Masonic flag would show a similar compass and square; but in white, on a blue background.
Madaus, Howard M., Dr, Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict. Santa Cruz: VZ Publications, 2006, p. 46.
Provenance: Acquired by the Veninga Flag Collection in 1999. LV01 (ZFC2033).
ZFC Significant Flag