13-star Anchor Private Yacht Ensign Flag, Early 20th Century

This is a 13-star U.S. flag known as a “Private Boat Ensign." The flag features 13 stars and a large anchor design at the center of the canton. The anchor is encircled by 13 white stars. The circular arrangement of stars suggests unity and perpetuity, and it was a favorite design style of patriotic painters, currency designers, and flag makers. The design is completed by 13 red and white stripes, in vibrant coloring, and two grommets at the hoist end.

The 13-star pattern was commonly used by the U.S. Navy as its standard ensign for ships from the 1870s until 1916. The practice of flying 13-star flags also became quite popular on private yachts. Many 13-star flags were designed for use on the aft section of boats, and being that there was minimal regulation on the production of American flags until 1912, flag makers had the right to utilize the design of their choosing.


Good condition overall, considering age and past use on a boat. The printed canton maintains its vibrant colors. Small holes throughout canton, only one in star and none disruptive of the overall pattern. Machine-sewn red and white stripes. White thread used throughout in a running stitch pattern. Reinforced stitching at corner edges of fly. Two larger patched repairs to white stripes, one sewn repair. Small scattered holes throughout, only minimal toning to colors. White headband with patent grommet at top, hole where bottom grommet used to be.

This flag is beautifully presented using the finest archival materials and procedures. It is framed in a custom-built, black and gold beaded wooden frame with UV Plexiglas. Framed Dimensions: 41 3/4" H x 63" W x 2 1/2" D.

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