SCARCE SOUTHERN EIGHT-STAR PROTO-CONFEDERATE “INCLUSIONARY” FLAG

Item/Auction Attributes

1860-1861.
Excellent overall condition with very minor discoloration.
26 1/2" x 45".
Provenance: The Important Americana Collection of Barbara M. and the late Charlie Hunter, Staunton, VA. Cowan's Auctions, 11/16/2005, lot 334.
$4,000.00
$6,000.00
Catalogue Note: The present Proto-Confederate flag is an example of what scholars such as Howard Madaus have termed "vernacular inclusionary" flags. These secessionist-sympathetic flags, believed to have been made in late 1860 and early 1861, are generally modeled on the "stars and stripes" formula, but "include" a smaller selection of stars, intended to represent Confederate states - that number being itself in flux at the time. In this instance, the seven stripes represent the original seven states to secede. It is important to note, however, that proto-Confederate flags of the period exhibit widely varying star and stripe counts - a natural result given the absence of a formally adopted uniform flag design during the earliest period of the Confederacy. As Howard Madaus describes the phenomena, "[t]hese flags are termed 'vernacular' because they are the product of the average southerner, and not the Confederate government, and 'inclusionary' because the persons making them included the number of stars into the canton that he or she thought should be 'included' in the still-to-be-devised Confederate national flag, and not necessarily the number of states that actually had seceded or joined the nascent Confederacy." This lot includes a report from Mr. Madaus authenticating the present flag.