The Family Flag

“I’m repping the family flag!”  That’s what the caption said on my daughter’s recent text message.  She’d sent a picture of herself wearing a special t-shirt I had made for her.  It has our family flag on it.

Family flag?  Am I some kind of royal family or something?  No.  An average Joe with a big imagination.  And a penchant for pomp.

For some reason I’ve always liked parades and flags.  Maybe it’s the flair.  Maybe the majesty.  Certainly the romance of it all.  That’s part of the reason I joined the Navy many years ago.  The parades and flags and uniforms.  Glitz and glam.  So I’m a sucker for pretty things.

But back to the family flag.

While I was in the navy, I designed a flag, technically a pennant, with two tails, that I wanted to use to represent my family.  The plan was to fly it at the lake house when I was there.

I’m not an artist, but I was able to use some crayons to get down the basics of it.  I showed it to my wife.  And asked her if she could make it for me with the her Betsy Ross skills.  She laughed, knowing that I come up with some wild ideas.  But she agreed.

I drew it to scale.  Used some architect’s tools for straight lines.  Then I bought the fabrics and some grommets.  I had the flag flying every weekend when we went to the lake.  So much so that after many years it was tattered and torn.  I’d always wanted to put that design on some other items but the sewing bit was too hard.

Modern technology made it all possible.  I took the old flag to a t-shirt shop.  They took a photo with an I-phone.  Stuck it into a computer.  Fixed the image to perfection and screen-printed it onto a t-shirt.  Front and back sides.  Magnificent!

I wanted everyone in the family to have a t-shirt with the flag on it and showed them the one I had made for myself.  My daughter liked it so much that she took mine!  That’s what she was wearing in the picture she texted.  Reppin’ the flag!

I had another one made for me.  And one for my other daughter.  And my dad.  I still have a few more things to have done with the design.  A hat, for one.

Now that’s a way to show some family ties.  To preserve a family legacy.  That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?


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