23-Star Centennial Celebration Flag, Circa 1876

This 23-star count flag normally dates back to 1820, when James Monroe was President and Maine joined the Union as the 23rd state.  However, the mode of construction of this flag suggests it was made around the time of the Civil War,  possibly to show patriotic support for Maine and the Union cause, or later as a Centennial celebration flag.  

Maine was admitted into the Union as the 23rd state on March 15th, 1820, and the 23-star flag represented the nation until Missouri entered the Union on August 10, 1821. Over this brief period of approximately 5 months, few 23-star flags were made, and very few have survived up until now. Based on materials and construction, this flag was likely fabricated between the 1860s and 1880s.


The flag is made of wool with 23 hand-cut, machine-sewn, double-applique stars. The stars are configured in 5/4/5/4/5 horizontal rows. The fly is constructed of 13 machine-sewn stripes. Jute rope runs through the hoist end of flag. 

The flag is in good condition, considering age and use. Two stains are present; one stain on the second stripe and one major stain on the eighth and ninth stripe. Fly end is not sewn, and has fraying. Some wear to hoist end. Colors are still vibrant and very attractive. Flag's Dimensions: 26 1/2" H x 35 1/2" W. 

Flag has been archivally presented, mounted in a custom-built black and silver wooden frame. Framed Dimensions: 44"H x 52"W x 3.5"D.

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