Enlarge Text

American flag with 35 stars

Antique American flags are highly desirable collectibles, and many are worth thousands. Since a star is added for each state and 29 states were admitted during the 19th century, flag designs had to be changed often. It wasn't until 1818 that Congress passed a bill that set the number of stripes to 13 and declared that a new star be added on the Fourth of July after the admission of a new state. There was no standard star arrangement until the 48-star flag in 1912, so many versions of early flags were made. For example, on the 20-star flag used from 1818-1819, some were made with a rectangular star arrangement, while others have the stars arranged like an actual star. Some designs lasted only a year, making many star arrangements extremely rare and valuable. Since each star represents a state, you can date an old flag by counting the number of stars on your flag.

The idea for a day to celebrate the flag started in 1885, when a Wisconsin schoolteacher arranged for his pupils to celebrate "Flag Birthday." It commemorates the adoption of the 13-star and 13-stripe flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. It wasn't until 1916 that Flag Day was made an official holiday by President Wilson, and not until 1949 that President Truman designated the holiday to be celebrated on June 14th.

Find prices of more antique flags in the FREE online price guide at Kovels.com.



#3 flagskenpam 2017-01-30 01:47
i have an amaercan flag 48 star ww2 era like to find its worth to a collector
#2 35-star American flagWhalewoman 2012-06-13 22:38
I have a large, hand-made linen 35 star American flag in the star pattern. How can I find out how much it is worth?
#1 janai 2012-06-13 19:15
We took our 13 star flag to the Smithsonian years ago for evaluation. The curator pointed out that the grommets were dated 1878, making it a centenniel piece. So, another way to date your flags, although I would guess that all grommets are not dated.

Login to leave a comment.

Join The Discussion

Kovels.com is pleased to share your comments. Your postings may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in our print publications. We encourage a variety of opinions, but ask that you refrain from profanity and hate speech. To post comments, you must be a registered user of Kovels.com. Please remember that your username will appear with any comments you post.

Get The Latest Collecting News Every Week for FREE!

Enter your email below to receive Kovels Komments for the latest antiques & collectibles news, answers to readers questions, marks and tips. In your inbox every Wednesday.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Please refer to our Privacy Policy or Contact us for more information.
Kovels Premium