Doves and Stripes Carpet By Artist Luke Irwin , Country of Origin: Tibet, Circa Date: Early 20th Century – Designed by Artist Luke Irwin, this carpet displays traditional elements of the American flag, but in place of the 50 stars usually depicted in the blue canton, the designer portrays 53 white doves in several poses of flight across the stripes. The birds appear to be escaping the boundary of the grey-blue corner square, flying with outstretched wings into free space up and to the right across the red and white field. A large dove with outspread wings in the lower right corner of the canton marks the leftmost portion of the field of birds. None are present in the lower left portion of the carpet.
Irwin’s representation of the flag differs slightly from the traditional. Thirteen stripes, six white and seven red, are depicted as on the American flag. The upper left hand quarter on Irwin’s flag is a square that spans six stripes instead of a rectangle that spans seven stripes as on the American flag. The canton of the official flag is dark blue. The canton in the carpet is executed in soft grey with blue tones that accentuate the white doves