An Honor and a Privilege

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Project by littlecope posted 2080 days ago 1236 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My Mother had asked me a few years ago if I would be interested in her Uncle Harold’s Burial Flag. Harold was an on line medic in WWII. The story is told in the family that he was running to the aid of his comrades and was “cut in half” by machine gun fire at the Battle of the Bulge in November 1944. Of course I accepted this offer and bethought myself of a way to display this in an honorable fashion.
As it happened, my Girlfriend at the time also needed a Flag Display Case for her Father’s Flag. He had been in the Merchant Marines and served on one of the many Liberty Ships that played cat and mouse with U-boats in the North Atlantic. He had survived the War, but passed away in the early seventies. As her parents had divorced, it was a very special and meaningful link to her Father.
So, I had two to make. I had only seen one or two in my life, and never examined one in any great detail, so I came up with my own interpretation. I wanted them to be folding and decided on pinned finger jointery, and therein lies the rub. I knew going in that the 45 degree angles of these would make the joints unusual and kept putting off the job, with a strange mixture of reluctance and eagerness. Reluctance, not knowing if I was even up to the task, and eagerness, with the joy of attempting the new and different. I finally forged ahead and, as I suspected, the joints had to be cut by hand, and then hand fitted. Out of tribute to the thirteen original colonies, I marked and cut six joints on one half, seven on the other, and alternated around the perimeter, for a total of thirteen fingers at each connection. I used Lexan rather than glass because these do not come apart and glass wouldn’t be able to be replaced, however unlikely it seems that it would get broken. There are a few discrepancies here and there on them, the Oak that I used was not exactly of the same thickness, but overall, I was pleased with the results. The Girlfriend loved hers and I returned Harold’s Flag to my Mom. No longer having to sit in a plastic bag in the basement, it’s now prominently displayed as one of the first things that anybody sees when they enter my parent’s home.

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

9 comments so far

View rickf16's profile


376 posts in 2208 days

#1 posted 2080 days ago

Nice work. I like the “tribute” that you incorporated in the case. I have made a few cases in the past and one of mine has a door that opens up. I do use glass as I have heard that lexan can yellow over time. I rout a shllow rabbit in the door and adhere the glass with a GE silicon. That way if the glass breaks, you just scrape away the old silicon, install the glass and re-apply new silicon. I have to make two cases myself soon and will post them when they are done.

-- Rick

View Bob42's profile


452 posts in 2417 days

#2 posted 2080 days ago

A job well done!!!

You should be proud of yourself and for those who served as I am sure you are. My dad is 86 years old and was in the Marines in WWII 1st Div. and I am waiting for the day that I have to make it for him. Not to soon…
I hope it come out as nice as all the others I have seen in LJ’s.
Keep up the good work.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 2501 days

#3 posted 2080 days ago

This is a wonderful tribute to each of the flags, and the men they represent.

View Karson's profile


34870 posts in 3027 days

#4 posted 2080 days ago

Nice job. And a great story behind them.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

712 posts in 2245 days

#5 posted 2080 days ago

What an honor it must have been for you to able to participate in their rememberance! Definately a project to be proud of. It’s always so sad when we need to make things like this and they are needed all to often.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View HallTree's profile


5661 posts in 2394 days

#6 posted 2079 days ago

Nice job, Well done.
Years ago I built a flag display case in honor of my brother-in-law and on the back I made a place to hold the following:


The 21 gun salute at military funerals stands for the sum of the numbers in the year – 1776

The honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times:

1st fold is a symbol of life.

2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.

3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

5th fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decaur, “Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong”.

6th fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and the Republic for which it stands, on Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.

8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrew’ eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians’ eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation’s motto, “In God We Trust.”

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and the Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who we were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 2873 days

#7 posted 2078 days ago

Well done young man. You have done a great deed and service by honoring these fallen soldiers. My father also served in the Army during WWII. Losing two brothers also. Also being in the Battle of the Bulge with the 99th Infantry Division. It was a bad place to have been. I don’t know if you are a veteran, but if you are an example of the youth today, I’m not worried about the youngsters taking the reigns of this country. I salute you son. You are a good Man.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View littlecope's profile


2894 posts in 2128 days

#8 posted 2078 days ago

I wanted to thank everybody for their comments sooner but lost internet for a couple days. We had a pretty bad ice storm here in the New England area, 400,000 customers without power in New Hampshire alone. Luckily, I only lost my Cable and with it the computer. It only just came back on a few hours ago. Others are looking at being without power until mid-week or longer! It’s tough…
As far as this project, I’d be willing to bet that you have all had jobs and projects that just seemed to fight you tooth and nail right from the start, while others almost seem to make themselves. These were of the latter variety, I just flicked the machine switches on and off and held the tools, the work seemed to get done of itself.
There’s a peculiar story that goes along with this that I wasn’t sure whether I’d even mention but….I live in a second story apartment across the street from a city park with playground, across from that is a church. Harold was born and raised only two streets away, my Mom grew up on this very street a few houses down. When I began this project, the very first thing I had to do was fold the flag, to see what size it was going to need to be. Nobody was around to give me a hand, so I draped it over the side of the porch. The thing is, the split-second that I cast his flag over the edge to unfurl, the Church Bell started tolling, and continued to toll, slowly and ominously. The children playing in the park, and their parents for that matter, all grew silent for the short time that I folded. Call it coincidence, or serendipity, or what have you, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that Harold was being welcomed home. I’m not going to say the sun broke through the clouds or anything, because it didn’t, and the Bell was still ringing even after I had finished (Father Jerome loves ringing that Bell of his!), but for a brief time the world around me was a very quiet place. I’d like to think it was to honor the spirit of the fallen.
HALLTREE- I had never heard those before, and I thank you!
JOCKMIKE2- I was not in the military, one of the regrets of my life. I checked your homepage and, as always, would like to thank you and all the other veterans for their service to our country!
To All- Many thanks and forgive the length of the reply, but I was kind of at a loss without a connection to all of you people and the great work that I see here! Michael C.

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Rustic's profile


3133 posts in 2223 days

#9 posted 1800 days ago

I love it

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

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