A Grand Old Flag

13 Star

The Original States


c. 1790


30" x 44"


George Washington


Completely hand sewn, this 13-Star Flag is a remarkable early version of what would become known as the “Great Luminary Pattern,” where the individual stars are arranged to form a single star. With only thirteen states, each segment of the star is limited to a single line, and three stars make the core. Notice how each of the stars points in a different direction, a way that flag makers graphically enlivened their flags.  Cotton was often used for the stars, since wool bunting would easily unravel if cut at such tight angles. The cotton hoist strip and metal grommets were added after 1850.