An Air Force veteran in Utah has found a unique way to make a living based on his love for his country. Josh Vandenbrink, who has deployed over 21 times, now makes handmade American flags out of steel.
His company, Iron Mountain Designs, was founded in 2014, when Vandenbrink retired after 14 years in Special Operations. During his time in the service he spent time in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa as a Pararescueman. A longtime love of working with his hands led the veteran to eventually explore starting his own workshop.
The idea to make flags hit him one day when a few of his fellow veterans made fun of a plastic flag he had. So, he responded by making a 70-pound flag out of steel as an alternative. What he didn't know is that the product would soon be in high demand.
Orders began pouring in for the patriotic pieces, which start at $550 each and take over 30 hours to make. Iron Mountain Designs custom builds each flag using techniques like acid-etching and steel oxidation.
According t0 Fox News, Vandenbrink also puts the following George Washington quote on the back of each flag: "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."
It's clear that Vandenbrink incorporates his love for America in everything he does. One thing he doesn't do, however, is make flag tables. Why? Because it's disrespectful, according to him. "You don't eat on the flag," he says. "You don't stack anything on the flag."
The veteran hopes that his product will help spread patriotism. He wants all citizens to love the American flag, rather than use it for a political statement.
For more information or to place an order, visit Iron Mountain Designs' official website.