For most people, the purchase of their first home leads to major adulting moments like paying a mortgage and cutting the grass. For Wes and Katie Lyon and their good friend Max Berry, it resulted in Allegiance Flag Supply, a new business focused exclusively on the stars and stripes.
The Charleston, South Carolina-based friends purchased their first homes at the same time, and they looked forward to proudly flying the American flag on their front porches. “We’re proud Americans,” Katie says. “It’s the symbol of our country, and it’s something we take very seriously. We purchased flags, but they quickly began falling apart or mildewing. It kept happening over and over. We couldn’t find any flag that we felt was worthy of the symbolism behind it.”
Unable to find a high-quality American flag, they began doing their research. What they found was that most American flags were made cheaply overseas. That’s when they decided to take action and make quality American flags that were also made in the USA. “It’s crazy that the American flags are being made in different countries,” Katie says. “It was important for us also to make one that is 100 percent made in America.”
That meant more research. None of them had any experience or knowledge of textiles, so they learned. They reached out to companies and distributors across the country, and eventually — thanks to a golf pin flag Wes had hanging in his office — they stumbled upon just the right company: a third-generation textile factory in Vidalia, Georgia. “They primarily make golf pin flags, but when you think about it, pin flags have to stand up to the wind and the elements too,” Katie explains. “From there, we were able to finalize the design of our flags.”
Allegiance Flag Supply flags are 100% American-made, from the fabric and materials to the actual production. The flags are hand-sewn by veteran seamstresses in Vidalia and then shipped out to customers across the country. “Every single flag is touched by a seamstress,” Katie says. “We take extra care with every step of the production process to make sure our flags are better.”
In addition to hand sewing every flag and only using quality American-made materials, Allegiance Flag Supply also takes great care with the actual stitching process. The stitch strategy of the flag is a major factor in what gives Allegiance Flag Supply flags their longevity. A common problem with most flags is that the ends rip and tear, eventually causing the entire flag to unravel. Allegiance Flag Supply uses a special type of stitching on those stress points so that it won’t unravel, and if one string happens to pop, it won’t cause the entire flag to unravel. For further support, they also add extra stitching to ensure the flag stands up to the wind. “We are the only company that makes the American flags with the extra stitching,” Katie says.
Another major differentiator of Allegiance Flag Supply flags is the actual flag material. They use only 200 denier nylon fabric, which is known as a top-quality nylon. “It’s strong enough to fight the elements, but it’s lightweight enough to catch the breeze,” Katie adds. All of their flags are also made with mold-resistant grommet strips — not a common practice with flag companies, Katie stresses — to ensure that the only colors on the flag are red, white and blue. “The way we produce our flags gives them a more crafted feel,” Katie says. “It’s also employing so many talented American seamstresses, and that’s something we’re really proud of.”
The company continues to employ seamstresses in Vidalia, but to keep up with the demand for its flags, Allegiance Flag Supply has opened up a second shop in North Charleston. “It has been absolutely incredible,” Katie says. “We set out to make the greatest American flag, and we feel like we’ve done that. We’re so happy that customers all over the country agree.”
Talking with those customers has been another bonus for Katie, Wes, and Max, too. Being a small company, they handle customer service as well. Managing the customer service aspect gives them the opportunity to talk to customers every day, which for Katie is one of the best parts of the job. “We love hearing what our customers are saying,” Katie says. “There is a great pride for us when it comes to being employed to make the symbol of freedom. So it’s incredibly rewarding to hear the stories of what the flag means to our customers. For example, we had one mother reach out wanting to see if we could overnight her purchase because her son was deploying, and she wanted to give it to him before he left, and of course, we said absolutely. We love seeing where our flags are going and what it means to them.”
For more information about Allegiance Flag Supply, visit showallegiance.com. All photography courtesy of Allegiance Flag Supply.
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