Sometime after the Fourth of July weekend, I noticed that a staple had come out of the skinny dowel that holds the small American flag I stuck in the ground along the walk leading to the front door.
Typically, I put out small array of the little flags on the national holidays, especially the Fourth, Day and Veterans Day. And because I’m way more cheap than I am patriotic, I tend to keep the flags for years and years.
Or at least until they fall off their miniature flag poles.
For whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to toss old flags in the trash. So I decided that I could both winnow down the odd collection of pallet wood in the backyard and repurpose the little flag that probably cost all of $3.00.
The flag measures 11 1/2 by 17 1/2 inches and I bought a dinky 16-by-20 picture frame at Goodwill just for the glass to protect the flag.
The glassed-in American flag is outgrowth of a rustic-looking Lone Star Texas flag that I made mostly with 1×6 pallet wood that was pretty weathered. I used a stiff-bristle paint brush to apply the red, white and blue paint to make sure the coverage would be uneven and allow some of the gray from the weathered pallet to show through.
A friend saw the photo of the Texas flag and asked if could make a “Come And Take it” flag to match the tiny pin he likes to wear on shit sport coat lapel.
“Come And Take It” stems from 1835 Battle of Gonzalez from the Texas war for independence and the cannon the forms its centerpiece is the symbol of defiance, essentially a dare to the Mexican army to attempt to wrest it from the rebelling Texans.
There are several iterations of the flag. All feature the star, the cannon and the slogan, Some just show a black outline of the star and cannon; others show both all blacked in. I chose to black-in the elements because that matched the lapel pin I was trying to replicate.
Like in the Texas flag, I let the gray bleed through the white paint on the “Come And Take It” field. The lettering is freehand with a Sharpie pen. The cannon is freehand, using the base of a tomato-paste can to shape the arc on the big end of the gun and a half-dollar coin for the small end. The star is traced.
Below is pretty much the same process, only with the Longhorns’ symbol. The burnt orange look was a lucky break. Leftover deck stain that has been in the garage more than 10 years was sort of a match, but applied over heavily weathered oak pallet wood amplified the burn orange tone.
The best part is that all of them are made from stuff that might otherwise have ended up at the dump.