13-Star Flag 3-2-3-2-3, Circa 1890-1910

Presented here is a 13-star American flag, circa 1890-1910. The stars are arranged in rows of 3-2-3-2-3, which is the most recurring pattern of 13-star flags in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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 the 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 1800 and early 1900s, the U.S. Navy enjoyed the privilege of placing only 13-stars rather than the full complement of the day. During the nineteenth century, 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.


Double applique stars with zig zag stitching, machine stitching, no stamp on hoist, small stains and tears throughout. Oxidized throughout with much patina from long usage, circa 1890-1910. Overall good condition for age and usage.

Framed dimensions: 41" H x 46 ½” W x 3" D.

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