[AMERICAN FLAG] Centennial American parade flag with stars arranged in the 1776/1876 pattern.
Thin cotton/wool American flag, circa 1876, the alternating red and white stripes on two joined pieces, the canton with 81 10-point stars arranged to read "1776/1876" from the recto only (38 stars make up 1776 and 43 make up 1876). Overall 28 1/4 x 45 1/2 inches (54 x 115 cm); the canton 15 x 21 inches (38 x 53 cm). Some wear and fraying to the top and bottom stripe at edge where formerly folded (an area also likely frequently pinned for display), other light soiling, frayed areas and minor stains.
A rare and highly decorative centennial flag, one of very few with this graphic numerical design. The 38 stars that comprise the "1776" in the canton is thought to represent Colorado, admitted to the Union in August 1876. This is the style of flag that would have been displayed at the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, the largest celebratory gathering of the nation's first 100 years which ran for over a month. The current example is similar in size and three-piece construction as other known examples of this flag. For a similar example sold recently, see Sotheby's New York, 10 October 2019, Lot 67.
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