Skip to content

FLAG DAY SALE! 20% Off Antique Flags | Today Only | Discount in Cart

Shop Flags

Cart

Your cart is empty

Article: "Blood Stripe" American Flags

"Blood Stripe" American Flags

American flags have been designed in varying colors, sizes and styles over American history. Though flag makers and craftsmen alike kept the standard flag as red and white stripes with white stars on a blue canton, flags varied tremendously. One interesting interpretation of the flag was used during wartime, when flags were created with a canton resting on a red stripe, rather than a white stripe as it was normally seen. This is called a “blood stripe,” and it often denotes a time when America was at war.

Traditionally and most commonly, the canton of the flag held seven stripes, made up of alternating red and white stripes that begin and end with red. This allowed for the stripe below the canton to be white. It is only in times of war that flags would have been created with the “blood stripe.”

Though “blood stripes” and other design features were common practices among flag makers, there was no regulation on the production of American flags until the early 20th century. Though “blood stripes” and certain star patterns became common practice, they were not law and were thus not always honored by flag makers. This is why we will, very rarely, find flags that rest on a “blood stripe,” but are determined to have been produced outside of wartime.

This flag in particular dates to the Indian Wars, a protracted series of conflicts between Native American Indians and white settlers over land and natural resources in the West. The 38-star flag was designed between 1876-1890, when Colorado was the most recent to become a U.S. state.

Keep an eye out for “blood stripes!” They will tell you more about the history of the flag and when it could have been flown.

Read more

The Statue of Liberty's "Little Sister" to Join for Independence Day

The Statue of Liberty's "Little Sister" to Join for Independence Day

The Statue of Liberty will be joined by a little sister this year! It has been announced that France will send a smaller replica of the Statue of Liberty to the United States this year, just in tim...

Read more
Eagles in American Art

Eagles in American Art

Depictions of eagles can be seen across American art. The national bird of the United States, the eagle has been used as a symbol of American freedom for centuries. Take a closer look at eagles in ...

Read more

Blog posts

The Story Behind this Iconic Margaret Bourke-White Photograph
20th Century

The Story Behind this Iconic Margaret Bourke-White Photograph

In April 1952, Life ran a twelve page article with Margaret Bourke-White’s photographs, entitled, “A New Way To Look At the U.S.: Camera and helicopter give an exalted view of the land.” From her u...

Read more
42 Stars: An Unofficial Flag

42 Stars: An Unofficial Flag

One of our most recent new arrivals in the shop is this beautiful 42-star American flag. The 42-star flag celebrates Washington statehood, even though the 42-star flag was not an official flag vari...

Read more
Publication History of James Joyce's "Ulysses"

Publication History of James Joyce's "Ulysses"

James Joyce’s Ulysses was considered by T.S. Eliot as “the most important expression which the present age has found.” However, the path to publication was not an easy one. 

Read more
Back to the top