The American flags made at Fly Creek Flags are unique.
Made by David K. Butler, a decorated Vietnam veteran and resident of the town of Otsego, these flags are handcrafted from wood, not cloth.
“Each one is individually made,” said Butler.
Butler started crafting his wooden flags last winter, after his daughter-in-law asked him to make one.
“She asked me if I could make a wooden American Flag to give to my son, her husband.”
Butler then got requests from friends for their own wooden flags. But it was after a friend took one of Butler’s flags to his office in New York City that interest really began to peak.
“The next thing I had 11 people call who wanted these flags,” said Butler.
This inspired Butler to begin making the flags commercially. He now rents a workshop in Fly Creek and, with the assistance of his friend Ben Anderson, makes the flags. Fly Creek Flags has recently been incorporated as an LLC.
For the flags, native fir is planed into the proper sizes for the stripes of each. The stripes are then painted with one coat of primer and two coats of paint, and assembled with back supports, glue and a pneumatic stapler. The grid for the stars is then laid out on the field, and each metal star is applied to an individual staple with an adhesive. The stars and grid are also primed and painted twice.
Butler says that he puts a great effort into making the flags weather resistant, as they are designed to be able to be hung outside
“I always had a sense of wanting to do things right,” said Butler. “If you don’t do it right you do it over.”
Fly Creek Flags offers three models of flag. They are: “Standard Style,” meant to be displayed horizontally; “Banner Style,” meant to be displayed vertically; and “Betsy Ross,” which has 13 stars and can be made horizontally or vertically. Butler has also made Italian and Irish flags.