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Tue, Mar 21, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 317

Rare Original 39 Star U.S. Flag ca. 1876-1889

Estimate: $1,500 - $3,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$300 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
$1,000,000 $50,000
$10,000,000 $100,000
Group of five 39 star flags of the United States of America, one partial, ca. 1876-1889. With canted rows of stars in a pattern of 7-6-7-6-7-6. Possibly made in expectation of Dakota Territory's addition to the USA or for Centennial celebrations in Colorado.

On the fourth of July every year, flag manufacturers would issue new flags to keep up with the number of states being added to the United States of America based on the Flag Act of 1818. Flag manufacturers incorrectly believed that between July 4, 1889 and July 4, 1890 there would only be one state added: North and South Dakota combined as one. However, in November 1889, four states were added - North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington - and on July 3, 1890 Idaho joined. The 39 star flag, likely made in the fall of 1889, quickly became obsolete.

Additionally, this flag may have been made two decades earlier in 1876 during the Centennial celebrations in Colorado. 39 star flags were manufactured in anticipation of several states addition, but Congress delayed this until 1889.

Height: 56 1/4 in x width: 27 in.


The item is toned as shown in the listing image. Heavy wear, soiling, and creases throughout. Wear along the upper and lower margins. There are losses along the upper and lower margins and to the lower center, measuring 1 1/4 inches. To the right and left upper corners, there are areas with residue that is discolored brown; please refer to the listing image; when inspected under UV light, the aforementioned areas are fluorescent. Not inspected out of frame. Wear to the frame.

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