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    Zachary Taylor: possibly the only known political campaign flag banner for this 1848 Whig candidate and 12th president. Campaign banners in the style of flags achieved great popularity in the 1840 and 1844 campaigns. But oddly they seem to have disappeared from the scene during the following two presidential elections, only to enjoy a resurgence of popularity in 1856 which continued through the remaining presidential campaigns of the 19th century. Collins lists no flag banners for Zachary Taylor or his Democratic opponent, Lewis Cass, and in some four decades in the hobby we have never seen another example of either in any private or institutional collection. Accordingly, this large, double-sided Zachary Taylor example must be considered one of the most significant political flags ever to appear on the auction market.

    On the front is a tribute to "Brave Old Zach," while the reverse side carries the slogan "He protected the children." This is almost certainly a reference to the first event which brought Taylor to national attention. As a young officer in his first battle in the War of 1812, he commanded Fort Harrison on the Wabash River in Indian Territory, which came under heavy attack by a force of Indians who were siding with the British. The attackers first fired the block house, and the fire quickly spread to the barracks. Panic ensued, and Taylor would later write "Most of the men immediately gave themselves up for lost, and I had the greatest difficulty in getting my orders executed - from the raging of the fire - the yelling and howling of several hundred Indians - and cries of nine women and children." But Taylor managed to rally his troops and repel the attack, with no harm coming to the women and children. While the feat did not quite rise to the level of Harrison's celebrated defeat of Tecumseh at Tippecanoe, it nonetheless set young Taylor firmly on the path to national prominence.

    This unique flag has survived well, in part because it was printed on a more durable finely woven cotton fabric, which during the 1844 campaign had become preferred to the fragile silk previously used for political flags. The colors are quite strong. A little extremely minor, very light surface soiling is noted for accuracy, and there is some staining to the right of "Brave Old Zach." The slogans are printed quite heavily and have bled through somewhat onto the opposite sides. Measurements: 25.75" x 21.5". Nicely custom-framed with glass on both sides for display.

    The expression "once in a lifetime opportunity" may be among the most overworked and abused of marketing slogans. However in this case, it may not be far from the mark. For those intrepid collectors who seek to obtain a representative flag banner for each candidate of the 1840-1900 era, this may well be the one and only chance to obtain a Zachary Taylor campaign flag!

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,612

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