13-Star Naval Flag, St. Andrews Cross Star Pattern

This is a beautiful 13-star American flag, each star hand cut and sewn. The flag was sewn at the beginning of the 20th century, circa 1905- 1915. The flag features 13 white stars resting on a dark blue canton, with thirteen red and white alternating stripes completing the design. The stars are arranged in a St. Andrews Cross pattern, a design found on most Navy and yacht ensigns of the day.

The stars are arranged loosely in the 3-2-3-2-3 pattern. The 3-2-3-2-3 pattern, which looks like a diamond of stars surrounded by four corner stars, is sometimes referred to as the Francis Hopkinson Pattern. Francis Hopkinson's submission of designs to the Continental Congress, which included design of the first Great Seal and a representation of the American Flag, included the 3-2-3-2-3 pattern of stars. The pattern was a derived variation on the Scottish white saltire and the Russian navy flag. For his design, Hopkinson asked to be paid in "a Quarter Cask of public wine" and later asked to be paid $1,440 in Continental paper. Congress, however, refused both payments. Congress agreed that Hopkinson had a role in the design, but refused to pay him because he "consulted" other men. The 3-2-3-2-3 pattern is one of the most popular variations of 13 Star flags. 

The original use of the 13 star flag dates to June 14th, 1777, each star representing a state in the newly formed Union. Throughout the 1800s the U.S. Navy enjoyed the privilege of placing only 13-stars rather than the full complement of the day. During the nineteenth, the flags appearance was constantly changing as a by-product of the nation’s western expansion. This U.S. Navy custom continued until President Woodrow Wilson discontinued the practice by executive order in 1916. Thereafter, flags were mandated to represent the actual number of states in the Union, with specific guidelines outlining the position of stars in the canton.

CONDITION:

This 13 star flag is in good condition, with age-appropriate wear. The flag has slight surface toning to the fabric and several small stains visible in the white stripes. Several frayed holes in top of blue canton, first three stripes, and then in last red stripe at fly end. Canton at top hoist end is partially detached, but has been reinforced with a vertical hand stitch. Flag’s original headband is still intact and has two grommet holes at top bottom.

Flag has been archivally mounted and presented in a custom-built black and silver frame. Flag has been folded under and sewn at 38 inches to reduce overall frame size. Stitching is conservation quality and reversible. Framed Size: 53.25" H x 71.25" W x 3.5" D.




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