Flag: U. S. National Flag (34 Stars)
This large (possibly garrison size) 34-star U.S. flag was catalogued in 1986 simply as a red, white and blue flag. Since the flag appeared to be of Civil War vintage, it was among those examined by conservator Fonda Thomsen of Textile Preservation Associates, Inc. in August 1990. The authenticity of the flag was verified at that time. During the examination, it was found that the leading edge of the flag was inscribed "Ed Harris Moorestown, N.J."
Edward Harris (1799-1863) was an ornithologist, naturalist, and friend of John
James Audubon. A large collection of letters, diaries, research notes, receipts, books,
photographs and native American artifacts related to Harris and his family were donated
to the Alabama Department of Archives and History by his grandson William Ustick
Harris of Jackson, Alabama. It appears that most of the collection was donated in June,
1941, but that materials continued to be acquired on an incremental basis until 1959.
While several inventories of the Harris collection have been made since the materials
were donated, there is no entry for the flag. Further research into the correspondence
between Archives' Director Peter Brannon and William U. Harris may reveal additional
information concerning this flag. Presently, it is known that the flag was the personal
property of Edward Harris and that it was manufactured between January 29, 1861 and
June 30, 1863 (the dates of annexation of the 34th and 35th states).
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Updated: October 26, 2006