Your Pre-Fourth of July Primer on Vintage Flags and Why We Love Them | RES IPSA - RES IPSA

Your Pre-Fourth of July Primer on Vintage Flags and Why We Love Them | RES IPSA

Aspen, Co — Sustainability isn't just fashionable, it is fashion. We love making new things out of old things--like our signature men's kilim loafers repurposed from vintage kilim rugs and our Vintage 501 Denim repurposed with vintage American quilts, wax fabrics and other vintage fabrics. At our core, we believe every product should have a story

Res Ipsa Nantucket
Res Ipsa Kilim Loafers and Hand-knit Sweater
Res Ipsa
Res Ipsa Vintage FlagVintage 45-Star, 48, 49 and 50-Star US Flags available for purchase at Res Ipsa in Aspen, CO. Please call to inquire (970) 239-4770
We love vintage American flags and the history behind them. One way to honor a flag is to give it a new life and celebrate its history. The more tattered and discolored, the more beautiful. We recommend using vintage flags as framed art for your home. We find they are beautiful to display above a fireplace or lovingly draped in a corner of the room you'd like to highlight. They will also make for a great story when you host family and visitors. 

Res Ipsa Nantucket
Res Ipsa vintage US flags on display in Nantucket, MA
Res Ipsa MalibuRes Ipsa vintage US flags on display in Malibu, CA

Res Ipsa Flagship Store, Aspen, CO
Res Ipsa vintage US flags on display in Aspen, CO

In our Aspen, Vail, Nantucket, Los Angeles, and Malibu stores, we stock limited and rare collections of vintage American flags, including some extreme rarities like a 45-star flag, as well as 48-star, 49-star and 50-star hand-stitched flags. Find below your primer on everything you need to know about the history of vintage American flags.

Res Ipsa American Flags
Res Ipsa American Flag Sweater and vintage US flags on display in Nantucket, MA

45 Star US Flag

45-star American Flag

The 45 star flag became the official flag of the United States on July 4th, 1896. The 45th star was added for the admission of the state of Utah on January 4th, 1896. The flag lasted for 12 years. Three Presidents served under this flag, including Grover Cleveland (1893-1897), William McKinley (1897-1901), and Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). 


48-star American Flag

The 48 star flag became the official flag of the United States on July 4th, 1912. The U.S. flag grew to 48 stars with the addition of two southwestern states: New Mexico (January 6th, 1912) and Arizona (February 14, 1912). President Taft dated the Executive Order on June 24, 1912, and it established the new proportions of the flag. The flag now arranged for the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, with a single point of each star to be upward. For 47 years, the 48-star American flag flew longer than any other American flag. It lasted through two World Wars. A total of eight Presidents served under this flag; William H. Taft (1909-1913), Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), Warren Harding (1921-1923), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929), Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945), Harry S.Truman (1945-1953), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961).


49-star American Flag

On January 3rd, 1959, the 49 star flag became the official flag of the United States. Alaska was the 49th state formally granted statehood under an Executive order by President Eisenhower (January 3rd, 1959). The additional star provided for the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically. The 49-flag flew for only one year, and it was flown only under President Eisenhower. 

"The first 49-star flag was made in the Army Quartermaster Depot at Philadelphia, and was used in the White House ceremony when President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) signed the proclamation admitting Alaska to the Union. Subsequently, this flag was carried to Philadelphia by Senator Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, who gave it to the mayor of Philadelphia to raise over Independence Hall on July 4th, 1959. After these ceremonies Scott gave the flag to his colleague, Senator Earnest Gruening of Alaska, who, in turn, delivered it to Governor William A. Eagan to be flown over the state capitol at Juneau. This flag was later given to the Alaskan State Mueseum for preservation." -- US


50-star American Flag

The 50 star flag was ordered to become the official flag of the United States on August 21st, 1959, though it began flying on July 4, 1960. With the formal addition of the state of Hawaii ( August 21st, 1959), the 50-star flag provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizon tally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically. The 50-star flag has flown in the U.S. ever is the longest-used version of the U.S. flag and has been in use for approaching on 60 years. According to Reader's Digest , the 50-star flag was began as a high school project for which the student Bob Heft only received a B- on his project. The flag was later chosen by President Eisenhower as the design for new flag out of 1000+ designs, and Heft's grade was bumped up to an A. Over 10 presidents have served under this flag, from Eisenhower through to the present.

Res Ipsa Flagship Store, Aspen, COVintage American flags on display at Res Ipsa in Aspen, CO

If you're interested in finding out more information about purchasing any of the Res Ipsa vintage American flags listed above, please call us (970) 239-4770 or email us for details & to be placed on our waiting list: 


Inspired by our travels to the great cities of the world, Res Ipsa is the destination for premium handmade travel and leisure goods. Our products are made carefully and responsibly with love. So whether you're far from home or returning there, travel with us!


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