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31 Star Flag - (1851-1858) (U.S.)

Last modified: 2014-05-09 by rick wyatt
Keywords: thirty-one | united states | commodore perry | trumbull |
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[U.S. 31 star flag 1851] image by Rick Wyatt, 5 April 1998



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Description of the flag

In 1851, one star was added, representing California, bringing the total number of stars to 31. There were thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies.
Rick Wyatt, 5 April 1998


1853 Commodore Perry in Japan

[U.S. 31 star flag 1851] image by Matthew White, 6 March 2002

In the book _Jumbo's Hide, Elvis's Ride, and the Tooth of Buddha_ by Harvey Rachlin (a history of artifacts), I saw a photo of the 31-star flag flown by Commodore Perry in Japan in 1853. The flag is in the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, and it measures 41x64 inches. There's a smaller photo of it on navy website.
Matthew White, 6 March 2002


Great Star

[U.S. 31 Great Star flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 27 July 2001

This brilliant "Great Star" flag was edged with black crape on the occasion of Lincoln's funeral. This was not removed and the flag served again in this guise for the mourning of the other assassinated American presidents, including that of President Kennedy.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 27 July 2001


Trumbell

[U.S. 31 Star Trumbell flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 27 July 2001

This flag was used by the Navy during the War of Independence. The basic format of this flag, with the large single star in the middle, was used from around 1778 to 1880. This version is from the 1850s. This design is based on the square canton flags as recorded by the painter John Trumbull in his historic canvases, "The Surrender at Saratoga", 1778, and "The Surrender at Yorktown", 1781.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 27 July 2001


Scattered Canton Design

[U.S. 31 Star Scattered Canton Design flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 24 October 2001

This thirty-one star flag is of the "scatter" pattern, with the stars seemingly thrown haphazard on the blue field, forming a scintillating constellation.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 24 October July 2001


Douglas / Johnson Campaign Banner

[U.S. 31 Star Douglas / Johnson Campaign Banner] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 22 December 2005

This thirty-one star flag is a Stephen A. Douglas and Herschel V. Johnson campaign banner -1858. The flag apparently had some lettering in the form of a long sentence or sentences written vertically in black, taking up three lines through the red & white stripes, just in the middle area from the canton to the fly edge. Douglas was reelected in 1958 while running against Lincoln.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 22 December 2005