Flag display advice needed

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Forum topic by jeffswildwood posted 01-02-2014 12:32 AM 714 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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597 posts in 793 days

01-02-2014 12:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi all. I have agreed to take on a project for a co-worker and really need some advice. The project is a display for a flag that was flown over a base in Afghanistan. The flag comes with a letter saying where and when. It was given to him by his Son when he returned home. He wants the flag shadowboxed in a triangle case and that’s where I need the help. First, how do I determine angles. I know all three must equal 180 degrees and two must be equal. any tips other then my trial and error? Second a good way to inlay the plexiglass in the front. I know the back is easy, use “picture frame” method. Third and most important, joinery. Particularly the corners of the triangles. I don’t want just a glue joint but don’t want any fasteners showing. I have considered miter splines but unsure at this point. I am in new territory here but being a veteran of Iraq I feel honored to be asked to do this project for him. Any advise will be greatly appreciated.

13 replies so far

View dawsonbob's profile


592 posts in 571 days

#1 posted 01-02-2014 12:40 AM

You might want to start here:

There are plans available online — just google them. Good luck with an important project.

Semper Fi

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View robdem's profile


342 posts in 1422 days

#2 posted 01-02-2014 12:43 AM

Wood magazine just had a free plan on there website for flag case . I printed it out . If it is not there let me know can scan an email you a copy.

View bondogaposis's profile


2940 posts in 1167 days

#3 posted 01-02-2014 12:48 AM

It’s an equilateral triangle and it’s also a right triangle. The top angle is 90° and the 2 side angles are 45° each.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View jeffswildwood's profile


597 posts in 793 days

#4 posted 01-03-2014 12:41 AM

Thanks guys for the heads up. Thats where I’ll start. I had to work and didn’t have time to explore options. Bondo, thanks for the perspective. I thought I had weird angles, it’s just like my square. I kinda feel a little silly. Robdem and dawsonbob, great plans. I think I have what I need to do this now. Thanks for all your help guys.

View CharlesA's profile


2013 posts in 613 days

#5 posted 01-03-2014 01:03 AM

How is it simultaneously a right triangle and an equilateral triangle? An equilateral triangle has three equal 60 degree angles. Or am I missing something?

Maybe you meant a right isosceles triangle?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 1291 days

#6 posted 01-03-2014 01:25 AM

jeff, i looked into this quite awhile back for a burial flag case. One thing I do remember is all flags are not created equal, the flag size itself, the material thickness, and the tightness of the fold all should to be considered. in other words, I think you need to see and measure your co-worker’s actual flag.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


1966 posts in 1925 days

#7 posted 01-03-2014 02:50 AM

As casual1carpenter says, make sure you have those FOLDED dimensions before you start. I’ve seen peops fold flags with all kinds of differences in the final product.

View kdc68's profile


2229 posts in 1093 days

#8 posted 01-03-2014 03:30 AM

jeff…it starts with the flag as causual1 pointed out.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View usmc1371's profile


8 posts in 535 days

#9 posted 01-03-2014 01:44 PM

I can only impart minimal insight, im boot to woodworking. i can tell you that most likely a flag flown in theater is a nylon 3’ x 5’. a burial/memorial flag, or known as a storm flag is 5×9 1/2, and a post flag is 10×19. 3×5 is what i had flown on my tours, and 5×9 1/2 is what is passed upon the folding and sounding of taps. a crisply folded ceremonial flag is 2”thick itself, with precisly 13 folds, each of significant historic/patriotic meaning. my woodworking skills are minimal at best, but i know quite a bit about our colors. It is all about the handling, folding and presenting. I am also making one for a smaller 3×5 with a certificate that was flown at the cops and OPS i was at in iraq and afghanistan. I just need to learn how to do it proficiently. Thanks for serving, both you and your son.

-- "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who wish to do us harm."

View bondogaposis's profile


2940 posts in 1167 days

#10 posted 01-03-2014 01:54 PM

How is it simultaneously a right triangle and an equilateral triangle? An equilateral triangle has three equal 60 degree angles. Or am I missing something?

Maybe you meant a right isosceles triangle?

Charles you are right. I guess it has been a few years since high school geometry.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View wseand's profile


2697 posts in 1858 days

#11 posted 01-03-2014 02:28 PM

I would use 1/8th inch glass instead of plexi, it looks 100 times better. You will need to rout a dado about a 1/4 inch in depth and a 1/4 to 3/8 inch in from front edge.
You need to get the dimensions of the folded flag. 5’ x 9.5’ folded flag fits into a 25” x 12.5” x 4-1/4” box Approx. 3’ x 5’ folded flag fits int 20” x 10” x 4” box approx. The top angle is 90 Deg. and the sides are 45 Deg. But, I usually have the person fold the flag and and make the box fit the flag. GoodLuck

I would do some googling and look at the boxes online or go to a store that sells them and take a look at those,

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View jeffswildwood's profile


597 posts in 793 days

#12 posted 01-03-2014 04:14 PM

Wow, thanks again for the feedback. The co worker has agreed to let me have the flag during construction. It does make sense to make the box fit the flag. Good tip! usmc1371 I agree, I have seen flags folded in my years many ways but there is one true way. I have one in a box in my bedroom I think I will practice on til I receive his flag. Thanks for the compliment, but it’s my friend son that served and received the flag. I got mine on my return from Iraq in 2005 and another encased the same year for retirement. Thanks for your service also fellow veteran. wseand thanks for the tip, I am leaning toward glass now and routing a dado seems to be the logical choice. As it turns out my son bought me a 30 piece set of bits for christmas that I cant wait to try out. Everyone, thanks for the help. time to cut the wood, (after I measure twice or four or five times).

View HauntedSpider's profile


25 posts in 737 days

#13 posted 01-03-2014 04:28 PM

I have built a single flag case, which I posted here. It was for a funeral casket draped flag. Not to step on anyone’s toes, but there are two ways in which a person completes a flag fold. Most people tuck then end of the flag into the back hiding all of the stripes in the field of blue. But on a display flag and how most honor guards fold the flag, the field is not tucked in, but rather folded back into a triangle itself in line with the rest. This gives you a flat surface on the front and back and makes a flag fit into a case much cleaner and neatly.

Just my two cents. Good luck with the case. As for the glass, I didn’t use a router but a table saw to create the dado groove. My glass was glued into place by gluing the 3 corner sections of wood which held it. You can also use screws underneath if you want to ever remove the glass. Be sure to finish the wood prior to inserting the glass. Makes life much easier.

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