Colby-Pulver House Closed for season-OHS still works year round. Exhibits reopen 6/20

Featured Artifact From Our Collection


Unusual American Flags in Our Collection


In 1818, the 3rd Flag Act was passed by Congress. It specified that the stripes always be set at 13 to represent the original colonies. The stars in the blue canton should reflect the number of states. No particular design was set for the star field.



From 1861 to 1863 there were 34 states but the number kept changing. Commercial flags were available and these were generally regular in design. This flag flew over the Stoney-Point School.


However, many organizations and families made their own. In order not to remake their flags every time a state was added, they created some unique designs and simply added stars as needed. This very large flag flew over the Flagg home. The flag is in very poor condition and we are investigating conservation approaches.



This 39-star flag is fairly common even though there never were 39 states. After Colorado was admitted in 1876, manufacturers assumed that the state of Dakota would be next and created this 39-star flag. However, in 1889 North and South Dakota came in as separate states. Notice that the star rows are vertical and alternate 7 with 6 stars. This room-sized flag may have hung in someone’s office.

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