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Flag and historical archive relating to the 1866 voyage of the miniature ship The Red White and Blue, which in 1866 became the smallest ship ever to cross the Atlantic. Note: A detailed history of this important nautical cache and the ship’s voyage, which captured attention and created controversy on both sides of the Atlantic, is available to interested parties, and includes flag history and description by Greg Biggs. ITEM 1: 13 star Flag, single ply wool bunting with hand appliqued stars. Front hoist inscription “Ship ‘Red White and Blue’-1866 of NY 2 tons 38/100 registered. To London and Paris Exposition = 1867 Capt. John M Hudson and F. E. Fitch.” Reverse hoist inscription reveals flag’s original use as a Civil War boat flag: “USSS Flambeau’s Picket boat 2nd cutter 1864, Acting ensign J.M. Hudson.” Exhibited Cheekwood Museum of Art, “Nashville Collects”, circa 1990. 31-1/4″ H x 45″ W. ITEM 2: The ship’s log, penned by Captain Hudson, including description of boat, newspaper clipping describing the voyage prior to departure, daily entries describing the trip and location, and details of the events at the Crystal Palace, Paris Exhibition and across Europe. Earliest entry date May 9th 1866, through December 27,1867. Log bears label for William H. Ritch, Commission Merchant, Ships Chandler & Grocer, 39 South Street, Corner Old Slip, New York. ITEM 3: Oval silver plated plaque, engraved, “Ingersoll Metallic Life Boat Red White and Blue. Ship rigged Sailed from New York, United States, July 9th 1866. Arrived off Hastings, England August 16th 1886. Navigators, Capt. John M. Hudson, and Mate Frank E. Fitch. Inventor and Builder Oliver Roland Ingersoll. Property of the American Boat & Oar Bazaar. 243 & 245 South and 475 & 447 Water Street New York.” Framed in later gilt frame, not examined out of frame. Exhibited Cheekwood Museum of Art, “Nashville Collects”, circa 1990. Sight: 8 1/4″ H x 10″ W Framed: 12″ H x 14″ W ITEM 4: Two framed prints including Currier and Ives lithograph “The Miniature Ship, Red, White, and Blue.” Print lists information on the size of the boat and a brief description of voyage. In later gilt frame. Sight: 9 3/4″ H x 14 1/4″ W. Framed: 19″ H x 23″ W. Also a print from an unknown publication: “Red, White, and Blue” on display at the Crystal Palace, Paris Exhibition of 1867. In later gilt frame. Sight: 8 7/8″ H x 9″ W. Framed: 14 1/4″ H x 15″ W. ITEM 5: a large collection of letters, photocopies, and publications pertaining to the ship’s crossing and career of Captain John Hudson, including the shoulder straps and gold braid from his Navy uniform. Provenance: Estate of A. Welling LaGrone, Jr., Nashville, Tenn. ABOUT THE FLAG: United States Navy vessels of the 19th Century, and even now, carried several flags based on the Stars and Stripes of the nation. The largest was the ensign, flown from the stern of the warship. The jack was flown from the bow flag staff only while the ship was in port, while the commission pennant was flown from the main mast in the era of sails or a high point in the age of steam. The flags varied in size based on the rating of the warship. These vessels also carried small boats called gigs, and these boats also were equipped with flags. Boat flags came into existence in the early 1850s and carried, at least based on that used by Commodore Matthew Perry on his voyage to Japan, 31 stars. In 1857, the number of stars was reduced to sixteen. Being smaller flags, the lower number of stars made them more visible at a distance. In 1862, the Navy Department further reduced the star count to thirteen. This may have been in homage to the flags of the Continental Navy of the Revolutionary War. From 1862 to 1865, the stars were arranged typically in three rows with four, five and four stars in each from top to bottom of the canton. The boat flag of the U.S.S. Flambeau/Red White & Blue is this star pattern. A boat flag with the same star pattern exists in the Zaricor Collection in California. After the Civil War, boat flags were changed to a three, two, three, two, three arrangement, again from top to bottom. According to noted flag historians Howard Madaus and David Martucci, these boat flags varied from five through ten feet on the fly with the hoist measuring about half of the length. The 1864 U.S. Navy flag regulations (basically revised from the 1854 regulations) listed ship ratings ten through fourteen as boat flags. Flags for the tenth rating measured 5.28 feet on the hoist by 10 feet on the fly. Eleventh rated ships carried boat flags of 4.20 feet on the hoist by 8 feet on the fly while twelfth rated ships carried boat flags of 3.70 by 7 feet. The thirteenth rated boat flags measured 3.20 feet by 6 feet and the fourteenth rates carried flags of 2.50 feet by 5 feet. The U.S.S. Flambeau boat flag measures 31 inches by 42 inches which corresponds to a fourteenth rated boat flag. The flag has been cut down in its fly length by at least 18 inches at some point after the Civil War when it became the flag of the S.S. Red White and Blue. This was probably due to the size of that boat being much smaller (only 2 tons) than the U.S.S. Flambeau. The flag is made from single ply wool bunting with the stripes and appliquéd stars being hand stitched. The cotton canvas hoist edge is marked on the reverse side, U.S.S. Flambeau Picketboat, 2nd Cutter 1864. Acting Ensign J. M. Hudson. The second cutter marking probably indicates that the warship carried two gigs on board. The U.S.S. Flambeau was built in 1861 as a brigantine initially for the trade routes of China. She was acquired by the U.S. Navy in November of that year to augment their blockading fleet. Weighing 791 tons, she was 185 feet long by 30 feet wide. With her crew of 92 men, she carried between two and five guns during the war. Her career as a blockader was successful with four ships captured as prizes. The U.S.S. Flambeau was sold by the Navy in July 1865 after being decommissioned. As a merchant vessel, she was lost off North Carolina in March 1867. Acting Ensign J. M. Hudson left the Navy after the Civil War. He became the skipper of the S.S. Red White and Blue which became famous in nautical circles for the transiting of the Atlantic Ocean by such a small vessel. His old boat flag from the war was altered for the Red White and Blue, being marked on the obverse hoist edge, Ship Red White and Blue of New York 1866/2 tons 35/100 Register/ to London and Paris Exposition 1867/ Captain J.M. Hudson. – Flag catalog entry by Greg Biggs. Condition: ITEM 1: Flag survives in good condition with minor staining, some patches and fraying where flag attaches to hoist. The flag has been professionally conserved with a fine colored mesh attached for stabilization. Also, there are