Vintage American flags at Jeff Bridgeman Antiques

Vintage American flags at Jeff Bridgeman Antiques

Happy 4th of July! While I am not in the USA this year to celebrate what has always been one of my favorite holidays, I am with you in spirit. I have always loved this holiday and I think it was the mostly due to the thrill of the fireworks, the parade, the town fair, and my parents annual granting of permission to eat as much ice cream as we can handle all day long. Somehow it has made me feel quite nostalgic.

Today I thought about the tradition we had in our neighborhood of putting up the flag the week of the 4th and flying it proudly. Everyone seemed to have a flag pole or flag holder mounted to their house. My parents had ours right next to our front door.

I would love to restart this tradition with my own family when we are back in the States. Maybe a framed vintage flag would be the way to go? American flags were all hand-sewn back in the day so I did a little digging to see where one can get their hands on an antique flag.  Jeff Bridgman American Antiques in York, PA seems like the perfect place to find one.  I am definitely paying this store a visit as soon as I can manage. You can find his website here or on 1st Dibs here. I am really falling for the almost crude details of the hand-sewn flags. Aren’t they beautiful?

Hand embroidered 45 star
This is a detail of a hand-embroidered 45 star flag.


hand embroidered 45star detail
Another detail shot. Check out the faded colors on this old fabric.


History tells us Betsy Ross made the very first American flag for General George Washington but there is no record of what her original design really looked like. Nonetheless, the circle of 13 stars configuration representing the 13 colonies proved to be immensely popular and most appropriate for any flag made to celebrate American independence.


The 13-star “Betsy Ross” design.


circle stars
All photos from Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques.


Since I am living in London for the time being perhaps I am best suited to hang this flag at my home here. It just might be perfect, don’t you think? Have the most wonderful 4th and eat an ice cream or two for me.


1867 example of the First National flag of America. When we were still a British colony!