The US Embassy London and US Ambassador Johnson's private quarters

Taking the call

We received an online enquiry from staff at the US Embassy in London asking us whether we would be able to create a custom size high quality traditional sewn US flag for the Embassy.  A day or two later we received confirmation of the order and a dateline and we set about making the flag. As we thought more about the client we decided to ask whether there was any mileage in exploring the opportunity to record the manufacture of the flag in Wales and the installation of the flag in the Embassy. The response came back as very positive, various conference calls were conducted and so we shared the news on social media.

 

The WCVA who have always been great proponents and supporters of our business saw one of our tweets on this and offered to finance a small film of the making of the flag to be shared publicly and we jumped at the chance to have this happen. 

 

Filming the making

The timing coincided with works we were having at our old workshop premises which we have since moved from and which explains the wall with scaly paint etc(!) but a few months on we received an invitation from the office of the billionaire US Ambassador Johnson appointed to post by President Donald Trump in the Court of St James in 2017 asking us if we could make the trip to London on 24th September to meet with the Ambassador Johnson and formally present the flag to him. We jumped at the opportunity.

 

Making the film

WCVA sponsored film by Red Beetle Films

The visit

Six of the Red Dragon Flagmakers team drove up to London and met with Ambassador Johnson who couldnt have been more welcoming, less stuffy and more of a secret flag nerd.  He sat us all down in front of a picture of Eisenhower in his private office, gave us tea in porcelain tea cups and saucers, impressive chunky chocolate cookies and a considerable amount of time.  He asked us all about ourselves, seemed very taken with Fitz' white and black spotty outfit, shoes and hair bow and seemed very interest in what was involved in the making of flags and what we thought of the flags within the Embassy. We commented that they were all printed and looked a bit tired - oh and that they could do with being replaced with professional traditional sewn flags and he took it all in his stride and seemed delighted at the suggestion (purchase order still pending as at the date of writing :)).

 

After our meeting with the Ambassador Johnson we were given a private tour of the Embassy and all the amazing work spaces they have created for their staff.  Every floor has a garden relating to different parts of the US which reflect the climates in plant types and temperatures.  The glass walls of the gymnasium (missile proof by the way) are decorated with tiny stars to help deter birds from killing themselves by breaking up their reflection.

We learned that there has only ever been one female US Ambassador to London and she was in place for 1 year, that Ambassador Johnson's favourite flag picture and flag in the Embassy is of a 10 year old girl carrying a Scottish Saltaire and that the glass chandelier hanging over the eating stairwell within the Embassy is made up of hundreds of replica glass Embassy seals and that one out of the many is upside down.

Post mortem on the US Embassy visit pub lunch in Chelsea

After the visit we all needed a sit down and catch up on the visit, so we headed off to Chelsea and lunch in a pub before climbing back in the car and driving back to Swansea.

A note from the RDF Boss

As the boss of Red Dragon Flagmakers I was incredibly proud of the team who took the once in a lifetime opportunity in their stride, were at all times funny, gracious and importantly, themselves. I believe we all impressed him with our Welsh down to earth approach and we left him with a smile on his face, a signed (by our Chairman Robin Ashburner) book of British Flags and Heraldry, a traditional sewn Red Dragon flag and a stack of Welsh cakes.

 

Red Dragon Flagmakers - the team at the US Embassy London in front of the US flag we made for Ambassador Johnson in his private quarters
The amazing Red Dragon Flagmakers team in front of the mounted fully traditional sewn US flag they made which now taking pride of place in US Ambassador's private quarters at the US Embassy London.

 

What a great opportunity and what a great day. With tongue firmly in cheek we hope our contribution in some small way this helps cement US/Wales relations - we'll be talking about this with pride for years to come.

 

Social media

For more information visit our Facebook page:  Red Dragon Flagmakers

 

The Ambassador's commendation

What an absolute treat to receive a tweet from Ambassador Johnson later on that same day commending Red Dragon Flagmakers for our skills and work. Such a lovely thing for him to do and very much appreciated.

US Ambassador Johnson tweet commendation of Red Dragon Flagmakers September 2018

 

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