Telling The World’s Stories with Custom Banners

“This isn’t going to be easy…They don’t look-it, but they’re complicated banners.”

A feeling of excitement filled the room – our seamstress eager for the challenge of creating custom banners for the Smithsonian Museum. An exhibit that would tell a story of U.S. imperialism centered around the year 1898.

What was special about the year 1898?  We had no clue at the time. 

Learning more throughout the course of the project, there were so many political and military issues in 1898. Detailing the conflicts with Spain, Hawaii, the Philippines and more, the exhibit takes people through the stories of how business interests and political domination fueled expansion in the Caribbean and the Pacific.

We had no idea how much work went into creating this incredible Smithsonian exhibit. The managing team constantly reaching out to vendors, creating floor plans, writing, and editing over and over again. It’s no easy feat. 

Our seamstress found similar feelings when it came to making this set of banners.

The banners would act as context and titles as museum patrons passed by the walls of portraits and texts depicting the wars, expansion and motives that were pursued at the turn of the 19th century.

A high end appliqué technique was required in order to give the banners an official look. So needles began flying and thread began flowing across razor sliced nylon, sliced by what can only be described as a seamstress personal pizza cutter – except this is just for fabric… don’t get any ideas!

Since the banners would be the headlining signs for each section of the exhibit, it was important that the process was done perfectly.

A meticulous order, much like the exhibit itself. It required revisions and consistent work in order to create something that made us proud. 

Measure, steady, cut. Measure, steady, cut.

The base of the banners were finished first. In good time I might add. Sewing the base blue banners. That’s the easy part. Or at least less complicated. A trained and skilled professional can run through this process with relative ease.

90 hours. Appliqué takes much more concentration and loads more time. Hand cut and crisp letters get applied to the flag and specially sewn on top of the base flag. Take a look at the detailed stitching.

As our seamstress was finishing up the project, it became clear how impressive this exhibit would be. Taking up a significant section of the special exhibition section of the museum for nearly an entire year meant we were hopeful to live up to the expectations of the job!

Custom flag & banner making can be tricky. Delivering on expectations is important to us and we are proud to make all the flags that companies, and individuals ask us to create.

There aren’t too many flag companies that take on these kinds of projects due to how difficult they can be. Admittedly, that is what excites us at Gettysburg Flag Works. We love all our custom flags and banners but the challenge and pride that comes with a project like this is unmatched. This is what we strive to do for you and every other person and organization that makes a flag with us. Every flag has a story behind it. Create your story and share it with the world.


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