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Centennial Flags (U.S.)


Last modified: 2014-11-01 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | centennial | commemorative |
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Americans celebrated the Centennial with renewed faith in a nation stretching from Atlantic to Pacific and encouraging invention and industry. This unofficial flag, reflecting patriotic spirit, shows that Old Glory has always belonged to the people.


[Centennial Flag] image by Steven M. Schroeder, 18 November 2000

"Centennial" flag of 1876 - As depicted in the postage stamp. 13 red/white stripes and blue canton with 80 white 5-pointed stars arranged in the form of the dates "1776" (36 stars) over "1876" (42 stars).
Dave Martucci, 17 October 1999

A flag of thirteen stripes, red and white, and a blue canton with stars forming the dates 1776 (above) and 1876 (below) was made for the first United States centennial. It was of course unofficial. Such a flag appears in _The Stars and the Stripes_, by Boleslaw and Marie-Louise d'Otrange Mastai. The illustrations are on pages 156 and 159. The date 1776 contains thirty-eight stars; Colorado was admitted to the union as the thirty-eighth state on August 1, 1876. The date 1876 contains forty-three stars, which became the official number in 1890 after South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington were admitted all in a rush the previous winter. Each of the stars on this flag has five broad points, as we expect, and five narrow rays set between them. The question now arises whether the inquirer has a flag that actually dates to the time of the first centennial or a replica made later. Historical American flags are replicated in large numbers for decorative use. A textile expert could probably settle the question after looking at the flag, but I am not a textile expert and can't see it. An examination of the header and grommets might also be instructive.
John Ayer, 23 April 1999

[Centennial Flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 10 August 2001

At the time of the First Centennial, the addition of words and dates, or other extraneous designs - such as inscriptions, portraits, etc. - was not yet deemed reprehensible. Quite the contrary, such were thought to represent an intimate personal relationship with the beloved national symbol.
Source: Lapeer County Library: A Revelation of the American Flag as Art and as Social History
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 10 August 2001