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26 Star Flag - (1837-1845) (U.S.)

Last modified: 2013-07-06 by rick wyatt
Keywords: twenty-six | united states | great star | eagle |
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[U.S. 26 star flag 1837] image by Rick Wyatt, 5 April 1998



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Description of the flag

In 1837, one star was added, representing Michigan, bringing the total number of stars to 26. There were thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies.
Rick Wyatt, 5 April 1998


U.S. 26 Star "Fremont"

[U.S. 26 Fremont Flag-white]
White Canton - Correct Version
image by Rick Wyatt, 28 July 2001
[U.S. 26 Fremont Flag-blue]
Blue Canton - Wrong Version
image by Rick Wyatt, 28 July 2001

One unusual variation of the U.S. flag was a 26 star flag carried by western explorer John C. Frémont, who later became the first Republican candidate for President. Between the rows of stars in the canton of his flag was an eagle. The eagle held the usual arrows of war, but the olive branch of peace was replaced by the calumet, or peace pipe. He hoped that this would be accepted by the Indians he met in his travels as a token of his peaceful intentions.

An interesting note is that the original flag, which still exists, has a white canton. The flag most available commercially has the colors in the canton reversed. Another Bunker Hill Blue!

Rick Wyatt, 28 July 2001


Great Star Designs

[26 star Great Star Design of 1837] image by Steven M. Schroeder, 18 November 2000

Great Star Design (1837) - As depicted in the postage stamp, it consists of 13 stripes, blue canton with 26 5-pointed stars arranged: with one very large star in center, 5 smaller stars in each angle of center star, 5 smaller stars between each of the previous 5, and 3 yet smaller stars at each ordinal point, giving impression of a large star pointing down.
Steven M. Schroeder, 18 November 2000


[Great Star Pattern 26 Star U.S. flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 28 July 2001


[Inverted Great Star Pattern 26 Star U.S. flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 28 July 2001

This beautiful 'upside down' star-within-a-star-within-a-star design is a fine example of early design variations. Akin to the "Circle within a circle" design, this one has a large star in the center, with five stars forming a star pattern around it and the remaining 20 stars forming a large star around them.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 28 July 2001