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Florida’s Best Newspaper for Antiques & Collectibles

                                  JULY 2017 • Volume 30 No. 11         

                                  America’s Star Spangled Banner

        By Larry LeMasters
        LeMasters’ Antique News Service

           American flags hold interesting places in history.                                                 for  longevity,  since  it  was  last  changed  on  July  4,
        Imagine  owning  the  flag  that  draped  Abraham                                                   1960 after Hawaii became the 50th state.
        Lincoln’s  casket,  or  the  flag  that  flew  on  Mount                                              The 16-star American flag is, perhaps, the rarest of
        Suribachi, or the flag that Betsy Ross first made, or                                               all American flags since there was never a time that 16
        the flag that Sir Frances Scott Key saw flying over                                                 states existed alone, yet the 16-star flag was made from
        Fort McHenry, or the flag that flew on the World                                                    about 1845 until the Civil War.  After the original 13
        Trade Center on September 11, 2001.                                                                 colonies united, the flag expanded to 15-stars on May
           As a young Marine attending OCS at Quanitco,                                                     1, 1795 with  the addition  of Kentucky and  Vermont,
        Virginia, I was lucky enough to see the flag that six                                               and then it expanded to 20 stars on July 4, 1818 when
        United States Marines raised atop Mount Suribachi                                                   Indiana,  Louisiana,  Mississippi,  Ohio,  and  Tennessee
        during the battle of Iwo Jima. Only a soldier knows                                                 joined the union.
        the  true  feeling  of  seeing  America’s  flag  flying                                               With all that said, the 16-star flag does exist (it also
        during war—not only is it the symbol of freedom,                                                    has  16  stripes)  and  is  called  the  16-star  Stonington
        it is the symbol that tells all American soldiers, we                                               Flag since it resides in Stonington, Connecticut.  The
        have marched through the valley of death and we                                                     documented  history  of  the  Stonington  flag  and  its
        are still here!                                 Hand-sewn, 13-star flag known as the “Great Luminary Pattern.”    16-stripe design suggests that it may well be from the
           Today, there is a growing number of flag collectors.   The 13-star flag was formalized in 1777.  period (1796-1803), and thus the only one of its kind in
           American flag collectors are usually interested in                                               existence. While the 16-star count was never official,
        very old flags. Collectors look for the unusual numbers of stars, which were only current   that would not have stopped people from making them.  Thousands of 39-star and 42-
                                                        for  about  a  year  before   star parade flags exist, and they were never official star counts either.
                                                     more states were added to the                                                     Continued on Page 3
                                                     Union, which then resulted in
                                                     more  stars.  One  of  the  more
                                                     flag,  which  had  duration  of  In This Issue . . .
                                                     unusual  flags  is  the  49-star

                                                     only 1 year, July 4, 1959 - July
                                                     3, 1960.                                                     July Collecting
                                                        Of  course,  the  original  13-                               History 32
                                                     star  flag  is  also  unusual,  but
                                                     exceptionally  difficult  to  ever                                      War Bond
                                                     own.  It was in use from June                                        Posters
                                                     14, 1777 - May 1, 1795.                                      29
                                                        Officially, the United States
                                                     flag  has  been  changed  26
                                                     times  since  the  new,  13-state                                  Shelley
                                                     country  adopted  it.  The  48-                           30
                                                     star  version  went  unchanged
                                                     for  47  years.  However,  the   Questions
            44-star flag, made of silk, tassel and fringe has hand-
          painted stars.  The 44-star flag was formalized in 1891   current 50-star flag now holds          & Answers
                    and was used for five years.     the record (since July 5, 2007)                              WACS 14

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