SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

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Stars and Stripes: 1915

Stars and Stripes: 1915

Washington, D.C., circa 1915. "Birth of the American flag." View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

SCV Flag Tableaux

Ironic that this "patriotic" tableaux might have been staged by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. If the following article is indeed associated with this photo, the four women pictured are:

  • Mrs. Alfred H. Plant
  • Mrs. George S. Covington
  • Mrs. Maud Howell Smith
  • Mrs. Paul L. Joachim

Washington Post, Feb 19, 1917

Birth of U.S. Flag is to Feature Ball

Sons of Confederates to Present Tableaux at Dance Tonight

"The Birth of the American Flag" will be one of the unique features of the Mardi Gras ball tonight at the Raleigh given by the Washington Camp, No. 305, Sons of the Confederate Veterans. This tableau, because of the wave of patriotism sweeping over the country, will be particularly inspiring and beautiful. Mrs. Alfred H. Plant, Mrs. George S. Covington, Mrs. Maud Howell Smith and Mrs. Paul L. Joachim will take part. While the scene is being staged the orchestra will play "The Star-Spangled Banner."


My goodness! Looks like those colonial dames had anticipated the constitutional provision for admission of states to the Union -- which wasn't even formed yet. There in the 1770s, and dozens of stars on that flag!

Patriotic Tableau

Amateur tableaux vivants were very popular with club ladies when this photo was taken. The pseudo-18th Century dresses and mobcaps worn by these gallant ladies are pretty good, but in terms of costume their modern shoes are a riot. The two at the ends are Air Sewing. At least they're not wearing snow-white wigs.


Betsy looks good considering her age! A grand old flag! Happy Birthday America and George M. Cohan!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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