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    An Extremely Rare and Important Large 1856 Campaign Flag for John C. Fremont, the First Republican Presidential Candidate. The party had been founded in 1854, but 1856 was the first opportunity to field a presidential candidate. They selected the renowned "Pathfinder of the West" John C. Fremont, a staunch abolitionist who supported the party's main plank: no extension of slavery into new territories. The Whig Party, historic foe of the Democrats, had fallen prey to internal dissension and imploded after the 1852 election. The raucously anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party nominated Former Whig President Millard Fillmore. However, never having been elected president in his own right (he assumed office in 1850 on the death of Zachary Taylor), he had no real popular support, and managed but eight electoral votes. The real race was between Fremont and ultimate winner Democratic victor James Buchanan. But Fremont's fame helped get the party off to a highly respectable start, with 114 electoral votes to Buchanan's 174. In 1860, the Republican Party went on to nominate Abraham Lincoln and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Like most political flags of the 1852-56 elections, Fremont flags are extremely rare. One portrait variety is known; we are familiar with three examples. Collins lists two name flags in Threads of History (not including the present example) and we have seen an additional variety. But interestingly, we know of only a single example of all three! The flag offered here is a large one, measuring 33" x 24". It has retained its red, white, and blue shades better than most political flags of this era, and is complete and free of major damage. A few minor scattered tears and holes conveys not-unpleasing "battle-weary" look (quite frankly, your writer personally prefers these early flags with a little sense of history about them, rather than looking like they were made yesterday!). The flag has been carefully sewn around the perimeter to a neutral, non-reactive cloth backing by a professional textile restorer. It is ready to be framed in this from, or can be more safely handled and stored. A rare opportunity to purchase an historic early political flag.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2005
    15th-16th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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