Antique 38 Star American Flags
Antique 38-Star American Flags are U.S national flags produced during the later years of the 19th century.
Brief history and description
The 38-star American flag (also known as the Centennial flag) was the American national flag from 1877 to 1890. The flag featured 38 stars in the top left corner which represented the 38 states of America, as opposed to modern-day American national flags which feature 50 stars for the country's 50 current states.
Some versions of the 38-star American flag may have the stars aligned in the shape of a square in the top left hand corner, while other versions may have the stars aligned in the shape of a circle.
The design of the American flag has been changed up to 26 times since 1777.
Guide for collectors
Due to the fact that a large number of 38-star flags were produced between 1877 and 1890, they are not considered to be as rare as the 33-star or 37-star American flags. However, if the alignment of the stars on a 38-star American flag form the shape of a circle, it is considered to be rare, but not necessarily more valuable.
Restoration of a 38-star American flag is not recommended.
For more information regarding antique 38-star American flags, visit US Flag's official website, the US Flag Depot or Gettysburg Flag.
Sotheby's in New York sold a 38-star American flag (1' 9" x 2' 1") for $23,900 in May of 2002.
Cordier Antiques & Fine Art in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania sold a 38-star American flag with brass rivets and handsewn applique stars (circa 1877 to 1890; 50" x 95") for $180 in November of 2007.
Early American History Auctions in Rancho Sante Fe, California sold a 38-star American flag (6' x 10'; circa 1876) made of wool bunting and cotton stars for $475 in August of 2006, and another 38-star American flag (circa 1876; 7' x 12') with wool bunting for $1,600 in August of 2005.
Sotheby's in New York sold a 38-star American flag (circa 1876 to 1889; 7' 4" x 11' 5") for $7,170 in May of 2002, and another 38-star American flag commemorating the Centennial celebration of American Independence (1876) for $16,730 in May of 2002.
Early American History Auctions in Rancho Santa Fe, California sold a 38-star American flag featuring embroidered names of its makers (circa 1876; 4’ x 9,’) for $1 in February of 2007.