Newport Flag Company strives to continue a legacy of flagmaking in Newport that goes back many years. The company was born from the relative coincidence of learning to sew on a friend’s industrial sewing machine – a random effort to battle the late-winter blues – and then learning that the city’s last flagmaker had shut their doors for good a few years back. Given the confluence of national, military and maritime histories that Newport is home to, there is perhaps no other place with the same concentration of people and organizations to which a flag is such an integral part of their identity and heritage. With such a base of loyalty and interest on our door step, and with Newport’s history of craftsmanship as an inspiration, the chance to carry forward the disappearing art form of sewn flags was too good to pass up.
Though not yet a year old, Newport Flag Company has the great fortune to benefit from more than 40 years of local flagmaking experience. In the early stages of organizing the business, we were introduced to Bert Duguay, the former owner of Ebenezer Flagg, who had originally gone to work for Leo Waring when he started Ebenezer back in 1975 to make flags for the upcoming bicentennial. With his experience and knowledge of flagmaking and design techniques, not to mention many miles behind a sewing machine, Bert’s input is invaluable