"Blood Stripe" American Flags

July 06, 2021

"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.






Also in Blog

Robert Taylor, Avaiation Artist
Robert Taylor, Avaiation Artist

July 28, 2021

Robert Taylor is the most widely collected aviation artist. His works capture the prowess of fighter pilots and aviation.

View full article →

Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence" Depiction
Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence" Depiction

July 21, 2021

Many reproductions have been produced of Trumbull’s original "Declaration of Independence" scene, in both engraved prints and paintings. These are highly collectable as attainable pieces of art that capture Trumbull’s famous scene.

View full article →

Eagles in American Art
Eagles in American Art

July 14, 2021

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 art in this week’s blog.

View full article →

Subscribe and save!

Sign up for our emails to receive exclusive flash sales! Get 50% off list price of incredible pieces, only offered to our subscribers.