Heritage Flag Company Visit
On Friday, I visited the Heritage Flag Company in Southern Pines, NC. Heritage constructs American [and some other] flags from bourbon barrel staves, a creation not originally intended to be for profit. In 2014, Heath Trigg, owner of Southern Pine Woodworking, built an enormous bar from barrel staves for the nearby Southern Pines Brewing Company. When the Southern Pines Brewing guys, all former Green Berets, held their soft opening, Heath surprised them with six custom made barrel stave tables and one giant oak American flag.
Patrons of the bar were amazed by the craftsmanship of the barrel stave flag, and asked more questions about it than they did the craft beer in their pint glasses (although the beer is outstanding). Requests for flags flowed in, so Heath and his team of master woodworkers got busy.
The Heritage Flag Co. now employs sixteen people, and demand far exceeds their capacity to make these works of art. Each week, an 18-wheeler pulls into tiny Southern Pines full of barrels from Maker's Mark, Jack Daniels, Buffalo Trace, and other distilleries. Heath and his team bust barrels, steam staves, and carefully adjoin them to a custom made "union" portion of the flag, which they carve and toast with a blow torch. The guys personally select each stave to ensure the flags, which are available in various sizes and styles, are appropriately
Heath Trigg is an avid bourbon drinker and keeps a bunch of good whiskey on hand in his show room. He has another 150 bottles at his house. Since establishing Heritage, he has presented flags to the Secretary of Defense, a number of General/Flag Officers, wounded warriors, families of the fallen, and countless others. There are Heritage Flags in the Pentagon, every FDNY battalion within walking distance of Ground Zero, and a number of Kentucky distilleries. The best thing about Heritage is how dedicated they are to honoring those who serve. The company has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for veterans' organizations. Trigg will expand Heritage in the coming year, but these guys will not let the quality of their work suffer.