RM1022 Outstanding Patriotic Shield with 13 star American flag
In the United States, wooden patriotic shields were first designed to commemorate the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 (a World's Fair held in Philadelphia, Pa., to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence). This circa 1875 hand-painted patriotic shield (24"W x 15 1/2"H) is made of pine.
Patriotic painted shields were often embellished with American flags; sometimes a cloth flag was attached through leather loops at the back of the wooden shield. Shields were typically displayed on parade wagons, fraternal lodges, and public buildings. Every shield is unique in size, shape, and design because each was handcrafted according to the artisan's vision. Stars may vary in number from one to 30 or more, with 13 symbolizing the original colonies and larger numbers symbolizing subsequent states as they were admitted to the Union.