36-Star American Hand-Cut and Hand-Sewn Flag, Circa 1865

This is a 36-star hand-sewn antique parade flag, as striking as it is scarce. 36 stars celebrate the addition of Nevada to the Union and officially flew from July 4, 1865 to July 3, 1867, under President Andrew Johnson.

Flags of the American Civil War period are among the most sought after of all American flags. Prior to the Civil War, Americans rarely displayed the flag for personal use. The events of the Civil War, starting even prior to the commencement of the war with the introduction of Kansas into the Union as the 34th state and the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1861, marked a turning point in both the surge of patriotism and the production and display of the American flag.

Although Nevada became a state while the Civil War was in progress, on October 31st, 1864, Congress did not officially add its star to the flag until July 4, 1865, several months after the war was over. So while many consider 36-star flags “Reconstruction flags” given their official fly time, the actual period of the 36-star flag spans almost six months into the end of the Civil War and the final surrender at Appomattox Court House.

In fact, 36-star flags were officially issued to Army regiments that required new flags during those last six months of fighting. 36-star flags were also used in jubilant parades nationwide to celebrate the end of the Civil War, as well as in more solemn ceremonies mourning the death of President Lincoln and fallen soldiers.


This flag is stable and in good condition, considering age and use. The all cotton flag has 36 stars, hand sewn to both sides. The stripes are also hand-finished on the reverse of the flag, indicating that flag was most likely hung as a banner. Along the hoist side are period cloth ties, further indicating use as a banner. Flag has six small holes, which bear early repairs. Holes most likely a result of bad staining during storage. The colors are faded but intact, and all 36 stars are still fully attached. Flag measures 41” x 66”.

Flag has been archivally mounted and presented floating in a custom-built frame. 

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