Friday, October 12, 2018

Political Quilts #6: The Gear Cog Flag

My old friend Julie Powell had a Henry Clay quilt
in her collection for years. Here's a detail of it on the cover of the book
On the Cutting Edge

She donated it to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 2013 a few years before her death.

The central feathered star has a portrait of Clay known as the Gear Cog portrait. The presidential candidate is surrounded by a wreath with a gear wheel, indicating his position as a supporter of American industry (He was the poster boy for tarrifs.)

The flag was printed during his 1844 campaign for president.

It's hard to see the navy blue print but it appears to be a common indigo fabric with triple dots....

...similar to this one.
Hard to date as the indigo style print was printed over such a long period of time.
We can guess that the quilt was made sometime in the late 1840s or into the '50s.


  1. Henry Clay led an amazing life, times were tough and he had more than his share of
    And he's commemorated in that quilt.

  2. Perhaps he didn't win because no one could pronounce his running candidates name?