48-Star Whipple Patent Parade Pennant, Circa 1915

This is a beautiful example of a printed Whipple star flag pennant. In the first decade of the twentieth century, a contest to design a classical style of American heraldry was held. The flag designed by Wayne Whipple, well known as the author of popular works on American history, was chosen in 1912 from among 500 entries. Whipple's flag was approved by President William Howard Taft, widely publicized throughout the nation, and produced.

The Whipple flag epitomized American history. At center, 13 stars are arranged in a central six-pointed "Great Star" to symbolize the 13 original states. The ring of 25 stars around the "Great Star" represents the states admitted to the Union up to the time of the First Centennial exposition of 1876. An outer ring -- with space for future additions -- symbolizes the states admitted since the Centennial. For some unknown reason, the Whipple pattern fell into disuse and the last of the "Great Star" flags disappeared.

The blue canton of this flag is in the classic Whipple formation of thirteen stars in a great star, surrounded by twenty-five stars in circle. This forms the thirty-eight stars of the centennial, which constitutes Whipple’s patent. Around the circle of twenty-five stars are an additional ten stars. This flag was made about 1915.

The pennant design is completed with 13 alternating red and white stripes. The first white stripe is marked with a Design Patent No. that matches the Whipple patent. Pennant has hemmed edges.


Flag is printed and in good condition. Colors show a little fading, but design and printed edges are still very sharp and visible. Small scattered stains throughout, as expected with a flag  of this age and past use. Hemmed edges intact. Small loss at fly end point.  Hoist edge stitched to original display rope. 

Flag has been artfully and archivally framed. The flag is mounted, floating, on acid-free linen and presented in a custom-built dark wooden frame. Framed dimensions: 32" H x 16" W x 1.5" D.

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