THE FORSTER FLAG
An American Revolutionary War era silk flag comprised of a field of fine red silk, a canton of numerous stitched lengths of a differing red silk, and thirteen applied white stripes (six to the obverse and seven to the reverse). The Forster Flag has long been accompanied by a pair of tassels and an antique dress sash. Both are included in the lot.
In a remarkable state of preservation with fresh original color, the Forster Flag has never been restored. Recently conserved and housed in an archival frame, some small stains and splits along folds remain. The flag is worn in predictable places indicating use, such the upper edge of the canton and along the hoist and fly, resulting in some losses to the extreme right edge and corners.
The fly and hoist are made of the same fine, plain-weave, red silk.
Hoist height: 58 inches (147 cm)
Fly height: 61 inches (154 cm)
Fly width: 63 inches (160 cm)
The red portion of the canton is of a differing red silk.
Canton height: 19 inches (48 cm)
Canton width: 22 inches (55 cm)
The white stripes are of a fine plain-weave silk similar to the fly and hoist. These pieces are imprecisely cut.
White stripes' height: approximately 2 inches (5 cm)
White stripes' width: approximately 5 ¾ inches (15 cm)
Family History of Ownership:
Samuel Forster (1739/40-1794), 1st Lieutenant, Manchester Company, Essex County Militia, Manchester, Massachusetts
By descent to his son Israel Forster (1779-1863), also of Manchester, Massachusetts
Further descended in the Forster and Knight family
Acquired in 1975 by the Flag Heritage Foundation, Winchester, Massachusetts.
The Forster Flag is now offered to benefit the Whitney Smith Flag Research Collection in the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin which acquired the Flag Heritage Foundation Collection in 2013.
C The Flag Heritage Foundation
Additional Notes & Condition Report
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