The stars of this extremely rare, Civil War-era flag are arranged in what is sometimes called the "Great Flower" pattern, a large star made out of smaller stars -- named as such because the large center star makes the pattern appear as if it were the center of a flower.
The Great Star configuration is the one of the most sought-after and collectible flags, due to the extremely unique placement of the stars upon the flag's canton. This specific type pattern came about shortly before 1818, when Congressman Peter Wendover of New York requested that Captain Samuel Reid help him create a new flag design that would become the third official format of the Stars & Stripes. Reid's concept of placing all the stars in a star-shaped pattern would have kept the constellation in roughly the same format as the number of states grew and more stars were added, in a distinct design that could be quickly identified on the open seas. Though his proposal was rejected by President Monroe, due to the increased cost of arranging the stars in this manner, the unique pattern was ultimately produced by anyone willing to make it.
This star count celebrates Kansas as the 34th state. It was admitted to the Union on January 29th, 1861, about two-and-a-half months before the first shots of the Civil War were fired. The 34th star was officially added on July 4th of that year, and remained the official flag until July 4th, 1863, when West Virginia was admitted to the Union.
This size, star count, and pattern are so rare that a number of knowledgeable flag experts believe there are less than 10 known examples in the world.
Clamp-dyed flag, on thin cotton muslin. Good condition, with significant toning, due to age. This particular flag measures 25" x 35" and has been beautifully presented using the finest archival materials and procedures in a custom-built wooden frame with UV Plexiglas. Framed Size: 40" H x 49" W.