Stars and stripes flag with confederate cross among the stars (photo from Jeff Bridgman)
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Vintage flags with hidden meanings

Until 1912, the American flag had no official design. The arrangement and appearance of the stars was up to the maker, and some designed their flags to carry hidden messages.

Antique flag expert Jeff Bridgman shows art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon a flag made shortly after the American Civil War, which includes the confederate cross amongst the stars to show sympathy for the losing southern states.

Art of America starts on BBC Four on Monday 14 November at 21:00 GMT, or catch up with iPlayer.

  • 18 Nov 2011