35-Star Hand-Cut American Civil-War Era Flag, Circa 1863

This is a beautifully hand-cut and sewn 35-star American flag, representing the addition of West Virginia to the Union. West Virginia joined the Union on June 20, 1863.  Because 35-star flags were produced for less than a year and a half, they are extremely rare and desired among flag collectors. Additionally, the 35-star flag is the only star count that falls squarely into the active period of the Civil War.

This beautiful flag has a dark blue pieced wool bunting canton, featuring 35 hand-cut and single-appliqued white cotton stars. The stars are arranged in a "dancing" or “whimsical” pattern of five rows with the stars positioned in varying orientations. Each star is also cut-out to the reverse so that the star pattern can be seen on both sides.  The design is completed with 13 red and white wool bunting stripes. The flag has period-pieced reinforced elements to each corner. The canvas hoist is stenciled with a "BOSTON" mark and an old "Custis" pencil inscription.

When Virginia voted to secede after the outbreak of the Civil War, the majority of Virginians living west of the Allegheny Plateau barrier opposed the secession. The prevalence of smaller farms and absence of slavery in western Virginia had already put them at odds with the wealthy, eastern planters who had spurned their requests for infrastructure development and lower taxes. Western delegates met at Wheeling, and on June 11, 1861, nullified the Virginian ordinance of secession and proclaimed “The Restored Government of Virginia.” This “Restored Government” was headed by Francis Pierpont. West Virginia’s statehood was approved in a referendum and a state constitution was drawn up. In April 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the admission of West Virginia into the Union, effective June 20th of that same year. West Virginia became the 35th state to enter the Union. 


Very good overall condition with minor wear and discoloration, scattered small tears and losses. Wool canton and stripe bunting, cotton stars, canvas hoist. Hand-cut and sewn flag. Canvas stenciled with “BOSTON” and has an inscription of “Custis” in pencil. Reinforced corners. Cut outs to the reverse. Flag Dimensions: 40" H x 65" W.  

Flag has been mounted in an archival and custom-built black wooden frame with gold spandrel, UV Plexiglas, and a custom plaque.

Framed Dimensions: 57 1/4" H x 80 1/2" W x 3 1/2" D.