Happy Independence Day
Celebrate Independence Day and recall the principles of the founding of this new country, an intellectual experiment acted upon by very dedicated, brave men.
13 STARS IN A VARIATION OF A VERY RARE CONFIGURATION CALLED THE “TRUMBULL PATTERN”, NAMED BECAUSE OF THE USE OF FLAGS IN THIS BASIC DESIGN–A SQUARE OF STARS SURROUNDING A SINGLE CENTER STAR–IN THREE OF JOHN TRUMBULL’S 18TH CENTURY PAINTINGS OF HIS COMMANDER, GEORGE WASHINGTON, ca 1825-1850′s:
This 13 star American national flag is extraordinary for several reasons.
One is its early date. Made in the period between 1825 and the 1850′s, its timeline of manufacture places it among the bottom 1% of Stars & Stripes that survive in present day America.
Two is the configuration of its stars, which are arranged in a variation of what has been termed the “Trumbull” pattern, which is one of the rarest and most desired of all known 13 star arrangements.
Three is its small scale, which is extremely scarce and highly desired by collectors who wish to display their flags in an indoor setting. And four is its presentation, which is simultaneously bold, unusual, and endearing.
The Tumbull pattern is a term used to describe 13 star flags on which the stars are arranged into a box of 12 around the perimeter of the canton, surrounding a single star in the center. The design was named after the revolutionary war officer, John Trumbull, who served as George Washington’s aide-de-camp during the American Revolution, before becoming an accomplished painter of miniature portraits and landscapes, as well as of larger (though often criticized) portraits and historical American scenes.
Flags with the “Trumbull” configuration appear in at least three of his works, including The Battle of Princeton (June, 1777), The Surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga, New York (October, 1777) and one of two versions of The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, (October 1781). None of these views were sketched or painted in first person, so it is uncertain whether the designs of the American flags in these particular paintings bore any direct relationship to flags that were actually present at each engagement. Trumbull was, however, known for his attention to detail.
In his landmark book, Standards and Colors of the American Revolution, noted flag historian Edward Richardson describes Trumbull as “meticulous to the accuracy of uniforms and accouterments … therefore, the flags depicted in [his] paintings should be considered as accurate versions of the time”. Yet because Trumbull painted the flag differently in his 1787 version of Cornwallis’ surrender than he did in his version executed about three years later, one cannot be certain of the design of the Stars & Stripes that was actually present. Whatever the case, however, the rectangular medallion configuration found in some of Trumbull’s flags has been permanently associated his name by flag enthusiasts.