SANTA ANA, Calif. -- The creator of a special flag made a journey from France to New York and ultimately to California.

Francois Langin of Langin Designs, Santa Ana, California, said that his journey helped him recognized what made America special.

“This year I felt compelled to honor America by creating a work of art that reflects my love, respect, admiration and gratefulness for all the blessings that this country has provided to me,” he said.

Langin’s flag of the United States is 61 x 31 x 2 inches, and is made of American quarter cut walnut, African mottled Makore and English lightly figured sycamore.

After the veneer is selected and cut to the desired size the drawing of the stars is attached on the sycamore field and walnut and cut at ones with a knife.

“I have, for quite some time, had on my mind this idea of "Our Flag,” he said.

Langin grew up in the French Alps, close to Geneva. Every summer people from different nationalities came to the campground resort his family established to seek rest and enjoy the surrounding attractions, such as the lake of Annecy, the nearby snow-capped mountains and the beautiful countryside.

“I realized at a very early age, perhaps as young as three or four years old, that I wanted to work with wood,” he said. “Everything about it was mesmerizing; the color, the scent, the beauty, the feel of it when perfectly sanded. A flame was lit inside of me that was never to be dimmed.”

“Luckily, I was able to avail of great schools and resources, which were available to me to learn how to exploit this beautiful medium. There came a time when I realized that the place of my birth was too confined to truly express myself fully, which led me to go see the world. Projects in Morocco, Philippines and a few other countries gave me the opportunity to expand and refine my craft and designs.”

Langin’s travels also took him to New York.

“New York City was the world in one place,” he said. “It truly was an assembly of all the nations seeking the opportunity to pursue a better life. To me, it was truly a mind-blowing experience. I was fortunate to be involved with some of the best interior design projects during my few years there, but I knew that it was time to open my own atelier.

“I decided to move west, like the 49ers who had done so a century and a half ago, with the same hopes of seeking my fortune.

“On a motorcycle journey west, which took 23 days, I was delighted by the encouragement and the support of the people whom I encountered. I was fascinated by these American people whom I had never met before. My thoughts were, ‘Where else is there a place with so much energy, positivism and forward thinking?’ It was a revelation to me concerning the spirit of my newly adopted home of the United States and I relished the opportunity to tap into its spirit.”

In the many years after settling in Southern California, I have met many people who are truly making the world around them a better place.

“In particular, I count among my many friends individuals such as a U.S. long range reconnaissance patrol and mountaineers with whom I have enjoyed rock climbing for more than a decade, and an airline captain who served in the Marine Corps. They embody the hard work, training, discipline, altruism, and steadfastness required to make anything possible and I am fortunate to have them as my friends and mentors. 

“With my interpretation of "Our Flag," I want to portray the image that I contain in my heart which denotes the people, the opportunities, and the promises of a glorious future this land has always and will always offer.” 

Francois Langin said that the original flag has been sold, and he is taking the proceeds to make another one. He said all of the proceeds will go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, recommended by Admiral William Mc Raven. For more information on the company, go to www.langindesigns.com.

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