39-Star Patriotic Eagle Banner, Commemorating North Dakota Statehood, 1889-1890

Presented is a stunning, 39-star patriotic banner commemorating North Dakota statehood. A large and dramatic polychrome eagle is printed on the center of a dark blue cotton field. The bald eagle is depicted mid-flight and clutches an American flag in its talons. The field is flanked by elongated panels, each panel having three rows of thirteen printed stars, above four machine-sewn red and white stripes.

This 39-star banner was most likely made in anticipation of the Dakota Territory joining the Union as a single state. And yet, the 39-star flag was never an official flag of America.  The makers of 39-star flags gambled on the possibility of the Dakota Territory entering the Union without companions in 1877, and lost. Congress divided the Territory and North Dakota entered the Union as the 39th state on November 2, 1889, with South Dakota entering as the 40th state later on the same day. Montana, Washington, and Idaho also joined the Union by the end of 1889. As a result, this specific patriotic piece of American folk art is extremely unique.


Printed and machine-sewn flag. Cotton. Retains metal grommets to lower corner ends. Flag dimensions: 32 ½” H  x 145” W. 

Flag has been beautifully and archivally presented in a custom-built wooden frame and UV Plexiglas. Flag has been mounted with the canton displayed and the stared and striped panels folded, with conservation stitching for stabilization, to reduce overall frame size. Framed Dimensions: 47" H x 65" W x 3 3/4" D.

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