Collecting Historical Flags – Not Just for History Buffs!

historical flagsIf there was ever a season for patriotism, this is it.  Memorial Day is closely followed by Flag Day and then Independence Day, which means you will be seeing a lot more flags flying in every neighborhood.  But many people are taking the patriotic spirit to a new level by collecting historical flags of the United States.  Here are just a few examples of the flags that are most commonly requested by collectors who visit

The Star-Spangled Banner (1795) – This iconic flag became the official flag of the United States on May 1st of 1795, when two new stars were added for Vermont and Kentucky.  The only flag to have more than 13 stripes, this historical banner was used for 23 years.  It was the Star – Spangled Banner that was made into an oversized “garrison” flag during the War of 1812 just to be sure that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a distance.  During the bombardment of Fort McHenry, it was this large 30-foot tall version of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the famous anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Battery Park Flags (1783) – Collectors who appreciate earlier versions of the flag will often look for the Battery Park flags that were raised in place of the British Flag on Evacuation Day.  Essentially, this event removed the last vestige of British authority from the United States as the last British troops departed the harbor in Manhattan.

The Twenty Star Flag (1818) – This historical flag was created upon the addition of five new stars, representing Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Mississippi and Tennessee.  It was upon the adoption of this flag that Congress enacted a law stating that the flag would only change the number of stars when new states were added, but the number of stripes would always be 13.  It also specified that new flag designs would always become official on the July 4th following the addition of new states.

The “Great Star” Flag (1818) was flown over the Capitol dome in 1818 for six months.  Since then there have been several suggestions for a “Great Star” design pattern, along with suggestions for using this pattern on private ships and navy vessels.  However, Congress intentionally did not specify how the stars should be arranged.

As you can see, there is much to be learned about historical flags and they are fun to collect.  Find out more about the numerous historic American flag replicas available by visiting

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