Reclaimed Memorial Day Flags

May 27, 2011 3:44:49 PM PDT
Marie Roth, an artisan, has been creating some unique American flags for almost 30 years.

Marie has a vast assortment of flags in all shapes, sizes, all from reclaimed barn wood, each representing official forms of the US flag over the years. Weathered and pitted with history the reclaimed wood of the disappearing Midwest barn is the inspiration and canvas for Marie Roth's hand painted tributes to Old Glory. Each American flag comes with a short bio of the barn where the wood originated and story of the flag design. From the Betsy Ross to the 50 star, each flag is truly a unique embodiment of history.

Sawbridge Studios
1015 Tower Court
Winnetka, Illinois 60093


50 star flag: became the official flag of the US by Executive Order of Dwight Eisenhower on August 21, 1959 with the admission of Hawaii to the Union. Eleven Presidents have served under the flag. The wood to make this flag was reclaimed from a barn built in Edgar, Wisconsin. It was an early barn c.1850 but updated over time. The doors were assembled from larger pieces of siding that had rotted, were cut down and made into doors.

44 star flag became our official flag in 1891 and lasted until 1896. Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland serve as President under this flag. The wood used to make this flag was recovered from a barn built by Jason Minard in 1895 in Algonquin. The barn is still standing,

13 star "Betsy Ross" flag was NEVER our official flag. For the first 5 years of our existence, the US had no official flag so people made their own. This design is undoubtedly the best known. These flags were used primarily by militia forces to "rally round" during the War for Independence. The wood used to make this flag came from Conway Farms, now site of Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest.

21 stars flag became the official flag of the US in 1819 with the admission of Illinois to the Union. It lasted for only 1 year and only James Monroe serves as President under this flag. Wood from The Raupp barn c. 1900, owned by a prominent family in Buffalo Grove was used to create this flag. This flag was the door to the shed.

13 star flag was the first official flag of the United States, the result of congressional action taken in 1777. Congressman Francis Hopkinson was most likely the designer and it, of course, has a star and strip for each of the colonies that ratified the Constitution and thus became states. The design lasted for 18 years and only George Washington served as President under this flag. This flag was prepared from wood recovered from the Woodstock barn on Franklinville Road in Woodstock. At one point a renovation of the barn was started but never finished and the barn eventually "eroded" and had to be taken down.

33 star flag became the flag of US in 1859 and is our flag the FIRST time a young Senator leaves Illinois to become the President of the United States --- Abraham Lincoln! The design lasts for only 2 years, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln serve as President under it. This is our flag as we are about to enter the Civil War, a time when the very concept of statehood is at the forefront of American politics. It was also created from wood recovered from the old Conway Barn in Lake Forest.

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