48-star US flag


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Item#: 111199 price:$6,500.00

48-star US flag
48-star US flag


(GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC) Forty-eight star U.S. flag. No place, circa 1930. Flag measuring 17-1/2 by 27 inches; with five-point stars arrayed in an eight-star, six-row, staggered row pattern; printed blue canton extends to the seventh stripe and rests on the eighth [white] stripe; handsomely framed, entire piece measures 27-1/2 by 37-1/2 inches. $6500.

48-star American flag, a reunion flag for the Grand Army of the Republic, with "GAR VETRANS [sic] PERRYSBURG N.Y." printed on the top three white stripes.

Formed at the end of the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic was an organization for veterans of the Civil War on the Union side. At its height in the 1890s, it boasted over 400,000 members and wielded considerable political and social influence. The G.A.R. was strict in only admitting veterans from the Civil War, however, so over time it began to dwindle, officially ceasing to exist in 1956 with the death of its last member. (A related organization, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, was its official successor, and continues to exist today). It is one of the forces in the 19th century most responsible for the veneration of the American flag. "The GAR's devotion to the Stars and Stripes was most visible at parades and at the state and national encampments. Old and new flags were prominently and profusely displayed at the encampments, where veterans reverently saluted them" (Leepson, Flag: An American Biography, 144). New Mexico and Arizona were added to the Union in 1912, and the 48-star flag commemorating their statehood remained the official flag of the United States until the admission of Alaska in 1959. Presidents serving under this flag were William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower; it was the official flag during both World Wars and the Korean War. The arrangement of the stars in straight rows, as with this flag, became popular during the Civil War: "the collective visual effect… is, therefore, one of hypnotic rhythm" (Mastai & Mastai, 123), but "until 1912, no regulation governed the arrangement or uniformity of the stars" (Pierce Collection, 9). The blue canton on this flag is printed, whereas the stripes are machine-sewn; there are two steel grommets on the hoist. See Keim & Keim, 168.

Wear with loss to fabric, colors still quite bright. Beautifully framed.

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