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34 Star Flag - (1861-1863) (U.S.)

Last modified: 2023-03-18 by rick wyatt
Keywords: thirty-four | united states | great flower | old glory | concentric | candy stripe | cross | phalanx |
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[U.S. 34 star flag 1861] image by Clay Moss, 13 February 2007

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Description of the flag

In 1861, one star was added, representing Kansas, bringing the total number of stars to 34. There were thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies.
Rick Wyatt, 5 April 1998

This flag flew from 4 July, 1861, to 3 July, 1863.
Clay Moss, 13 February 2007

A passage in Michael Corcoran's book For Which it Stands [ccc02], on page 85, recounts that on 29 January of 1861 Kansas was admitted to the Union thus increasing the number of states to 34, and mandating that the 34 flag would become official on 4 July 1861. Yet, on Washington's Birthday, 22 February 1861, less that a month after admission, a 34 star flag was hoisted by Abraham Lincoln when he stopped at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, on his way to Washington D.C. I think the practice of using "once official" and "not-yet-official flags" was much more common than currently believed.
Jim Ferrigan, 13 February 2007


[U.S. 34 star flag 1861] image by Clay Moss, 13 February 2007

Old Glory

[William Driver's Old Glory flag] image by Rick Wyatt, 12 January 1999

In the early 19th century William Driver, a merchant seaman from Salem, Massachusetts, became captain of a U.S. war ship, he wrote that he was impressed by the flag it flew and wrote "I shall call it 'Old Glory'" When he retired from the Navy he took his flag with him and settled in Tennessee and proudly flew the Old Glory from his home. The rest of the story
R. Nathan Bliss, 22 February 1996
Nick Artimovich, 22 February 1996

Popular Design

[U.S. 34 star flag 1861] image by Dave Martucci, 7 December 1997

This flag has the stars arranged with one in the center and two concentric rings of stars and one in each corner. This is one of many designs used during the Civil War. The pattern used here became popular during the Civil War until the late 1800s.
Dave Martucci, 7 December 1997

[34 Star Concentric Circle Pattern Flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 27 July 2001

Martinsburg Flag

[Martinsburg Flag] image located by Bill Garrison, 25 February 2023


A 34-star U.S. flag of the "11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment", U.SA., that fought in the July 2, 1861 "Battle of Falling Waters" or "Battle of Hoke's Run" or "Battle of Hainesville" outside of Martinsburg (in then Virginia state, but now in West Virginia state). The 11th Pennsylvania came to Martinsburg the day after the battle and remained in town until July 15. On July 12, they were presented with the "Martinsburg Flag" by the Union ladies of the town. It was a homemade flag and was presented to them for their bravery and courage in repelling the Confederate Rebels located north of the town. The Confederate "17th Virginia Infantry" eventually captured the flag in late August of 1862 during the "Second Battle of Manassas". The "Martinsburg Flag" was returned to the state of Pennsylvania in 1905. It is now located at the "Pennsylvania Capital Preservation Committee Museum" in Harrisburg, PA, and can be seen on display along with 390 other Civil War flags that have been preserved. Below the stary union there is white lettering reading: "Martinsburg VA July 12th 1861", and on the middle red stripe in black lettering there is: "11th Regt. P.V." and in the next below red stripe: "April 26th 1861". Initially, the 11th Pennsylvania was recruited from several counties in Pennsylvania as a three-month regiment on April 26, 1861, but extended until early 1865.
Bill Garrison, 25 February 2023

Great Flower Design

[Great Flower Design 34 Star U.S. flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 28 July 2001

The "Great Flower" flag, also known as "The Candy Stripe" flag because of the red and white "candy stripe" running down the left side. Five asymmetric petal shapes loop out from the off-center heart of a graceful "Great Flower" pattern of thirty-four stars. The designer and locations that used this 1861-1863 flag are unknown.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 28 July 2001

Cross Design

[Cross Design 34 Star U.S. flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 28 July 2001

Five clusters of six stars each with the final four stars being on the top, sides and bottom, centered. This flag shows great care in its design and in the making of it. The five clusters of stars form a St. Andrews cross and the other four for a St. George cross. The designer is unknown. This extraordinarily beautiful design also evokes, more poetically, great white blossoms or magnified snow crystals.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 28 July 2001

Phalanx Design

[Phalanx Design 34 Star U.S. flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 28 July 2001

The unusual length of the field of stripes indicates that this great standard was probably a naval flag. The pattern is basically a square "phalanx" of militarily aligned stars, with two independent "leaders" at left, and two "stragglers" at right. The result of this arrangement is a striking and very likely unique interpretation of the theme.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 28 July 2001

Cavalry Flag

[Phalanx Design 34 Star U.S. flag] image located by Bill Garrison, 2 May 2007

This swallow-tailed flag is a US Army cavalry guidon of the 1862-1885 pattern. By the 34 stars, it would be a very early one (design adopted 18 Jan 1862, 35th star added to US flag on 4 July 1863) or else a reproduction. See Cavalry Guidons.
Joe McMillan, 2 May 2007

Oval Flag

[Oval Design 34 Star U.S. flag] image located by Bill Garrison, 22 February 2023


Civil War Period Flag with Unusual 34 Star Pattern. Large dated 1863 wool flag with a rare and unusual 34-star pattern. The flag measure 63-1/2" on the hoist, 127" on the fly, with each of what appears to be cotton stars measuring 4-1/2". This hand sewn flag belonged to William Arthur Coffin of Boston (tag on flag and ink stamp), and was made by his aunts. Per census information The label identifying the makers reads "This flag made A.D. 1863 for William Coffin of Boston by his Aunts Mrs. Eliza Davis and Miss Clementine Foster of Gloucester, Mass". The 34-star flag became official on July 4, 1861 and lasted for two years.
Bill Garrison, 22 February 2023