An enduring symbol of family and craft
As humans, creation and the capacity to create are in our DNA. These creations spark joy within oneself and can unify the human spirit. For Tom Moser, the spark that led him to craft his artistic rendition of the American flag came from a photograph of a wooden flag and a gentle nudge from a friend. He knew his flag would be crafted using North American hardwoods- cherry, maple, and walnut- and crafted with the same attention to detail as his furniture. Tom Moser, a United States Air Force veteran, decided to tackle an interpretation of the American flag.
history of the first flag
In early May of 1776, Betsy Ross met with George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris. And from that meeting, with a sketch of the flag from Washington, came the creation and sewing of the first American flag. From there on, she began sewing our unique symbol of home, hope, and perseverance.
Custom Betsy Ross Flag, created by Tom Moser
“On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress, seeking to promote national pride and unity, adopted the national flag. Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation in a circle where no state is higher than the rest. Although many early American flags featured stars with various numbers of points, the five-pointed star is a defining feature of the Betsy Ross flag.”
-Public Broadcasting System
The flag has evoked numerous feelings and memories over the years. When speaking of the flag, Tom says, “Above all, there are times when this symbol soothes and unifies the human spirit.”
As a young airman in 1953 in Greenland, one of his jobs was to raise and lower the base flag. Every morning it was to be raised briskly and every evening lowered ceremoniously. Tom recalls, “Lowering a frozen flag in 40 mph winds in 20-below-zero weather while being slapped in the face by the flag was an incredibly unpleasant and rather painful memory. We needed to bring the flag inside the hanger and wait for it to thaw out before it could be folded every night- a less than pleasant memory.”
While stationed in Tennessee as an air policeman, it was his responsibility to attend the funerals of American soldiers who were killed in the Korean war. He presented the flag to the mourning widow or mother at the interment- a painful memory for him even now.
stars and stripes
Representing vigilance, perseverance, and justice, the stars on the flag have taken many forms and display permutations over time. From the original design, which included six-pointed stars in a circular shape, to the 5-pointed version we see now, both Betsy Ross and Tom Moser adapted how they created their versions of our American flag.
For Tom, creating an artistic version of the American flag engenders a sense of pride. In our Auburn shop, Tom, and his son Andy, work in tandem, each crafting their unique artistic interpretations of the American, Maine, Canadian, and other custom flags from solid North American hardwoods. These flags are visual narratives of the evolution and history of a country, state, or people they represent. What started as a special edition flag, harnessing the spirit of American ingenuity and Yankee frugality, has created a platform for reimagined and meaningful artistic works of custom art.
American Flag by Tom Moser. Custom Flags created by Tom and Andy Moser
Tom’s American flags have become time-honored classics that have the craftsman returning to the shop to keep his fellowship, art, and custom craft thriving and relevant. For him, the flag evokes a uniquely personal feeling and sense of connection; at the end of the day, it holds a more profound, unified meaning of family and craft.
What started as a special edition has become a time-honored classic available from Thos. Moser. Through careful selection of the raw materials and expert technique, Tom’s flags tell the story of a life well-crafted. These days, one can find Tom pulling into the parking lot of our Auburn shop to work with his son, Andy, on his signature interpretation of the American flag. His same gentle touch, keen eye, and firecracker of a spirit remain the lifeblood of this American-made business.
“I could not, and cannot to this day, imagine a life in which I am not creating objects in three-dimention. The unexamined life may or may not be worth living, but for me, life without project is a shallow experience.”