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...from January, 2004... TEXAS official proportions Category: Reproduction, Official proportions Style: 25 January 1839 to present time Finished Size: 36" x 54" (see TEXAS FLAG CODE at bottom of this article) Fabric: Polyester, cotton, cotton bunting, Nylon Finished panel sizes: Blue panel - 36" x 18"; White and Red panel - 18" x 36" Header: Cotton duck or canvas, 1½" to 2" wide Cut fabric to the following sizes: Blue - 38" x 21"; White and Red - 20" x 39" Star: 12 7/8" across the points (13" is OK) Notes: The flag of the State of Texas is the longest running pattern in the United States. Even the US flag cannot technically claim a longer run, since the number of stars and their arrangement has changed many times since 1777. To date the 48 star US flag enjoys the longest run as our national symbol, 47 years (1912 to 1959). The 50 star US flag will surpass it in 2007, after the 4th of July. But the current State of Texas flag started life as the flag of the Republic of Texas (superseding a couple of other designs) in January of 1839, prior to the admission of Texas as a state. The device is said to have incorporated the "Bonnie Blue" or "Lone Star" flag with the white and red "stripes" of the US flag. It is one of the most pleasing designs of any flag, simple and effective, and immediately recognizable. The Texas flag makes a good beginner's flag because the construction is simple. For the first time flag maker Nylon is a recommended fabric, especially if the flag is to be flown outside a lot. Before you begin here are a few notes and tips. 1. Have plenty of straight pins at hand. They will be needed to hold hems and seams in position while you are sewing. The instructions below do not always say to "pin down the seam" because it is extremely obvious when it is necessary to do so. 2. Adjust the tension on your sewing machine for Nylon (or the fabric you'll be using). Try a test line of stitching before you begin. If you need to make adjustments it's easier to do it on scrap than try and fix your flag 3. Use the proper needle for your sewing machine and make sure it's sharp. A package of sewing machine needles is cheap. A "stretch" needle is used for sewing Nylon, and a universal needle for attaching a canvas or duck header (hoist). If you are making this flag with material other than Nylon use a type of needle recommended by your sewing machine maker 4. Have a pair of good, sharp scissors for cutting fabric, and a pair of trimming or buttonhole scissors for trimming close to seams. If you don't have trimming or buttonhole scissors then use a pair of dull scissors to trim excess fabric away from seams; which in this project is around the star. If you only have one pair of scissors then be particularly careful when trimming so as not to cut the threads. It won't be the end of the world if you do, but if you don't cut any threads on seams then you won't have to fix the mistake. 5. Before you start note the time. When you finish note the time. The difference between the two times is how long it took you to make the flag, minus any breaks you took. Multiply the time by what you realistically think you are worth per hour (NOT by what someone else thinks you are worth). Add in the cost of materials. The final number is what your flag is worth. 6. During construction, if you get tired, quit and come back to it later. 7. When your flag is finished show it to everyone you know - and enjoy watching it fly! Construction: Begin by cutting the red and white panels to 20" x 39". This will leave an allowance for ½" seams between the panels and along the long edges, and a 1" fly hem. Before sewing the panels together decide whether you want to match thread color with fabric color. If this is a first time project a single natural color thread may work best. If you don't mind changing spools and bobbins then match the thread to the fabric color. Place the red panel over the white panel. Mark a line 1" from the one of the long edges and sew the panels together. Cut away ½" of the RED seam (don't cut the white fabric at the same time! - note the example drawings at the left). (note: drawings are not to scale) At this point unfold the red and white panels, laying them down so that the seam is up. This is important for two reasons: 1) it is important to flatten out the two pieces of fabric along the seam line so that the final stitching will be straight, and 2) if you don't unfold the two panels you'll end up with a dangling seam. Fold the larger white seam over the smaller red. Then press the seam flat against the red panel. This will leave a ½" flat fell seam. Pin the seam down so that it doesn't move. The seam will be the BACK of the flag, leaving the front smooth. Now stitch the seam into place along the edge of the seam. This can be done 1) directly on the seam itself (called bobbin stitching), or 2) turn the panels over to the front and stitch through to the edge of the seam in the back (called top stitching). Top stitching is stitching in the "blind" because you can't see the edge of the seam. Some flag makers will hand sew a basting stitch along the edge of the seam to identify the edge from the front. A basting stitch is a very broad running stitch usually made by hand, then pulled out after the seam has been made. Others will mark the distance to the edge of the seam with a ruler and marking a fine line with an erasable fabric pencil. If you don't feel comfortable top stitching use the bobbin stitch method. One usually can't tell the difference, especially if the sewing machine tension settings are correct and each individual stitch is of uniform length. Attach the white and red panels to the blue panel using the same technique as above. Be sure to start with the white and red panels lying flat with the FRONT side up. Lay the blue panel over top the white and red panels, and align the left sides. Looking down on the assembly the blue panel will face you with what is its BACK side (once the blue panel is folded away to make the seam). Stitch the blue panel into position with a row of stitching 1" from the edge of the flag. Then unfold the blue panel and lay the flag face down. Press along the stitching line to help flatten the fabric. Cut ½" of the BLUE seam, leaving the white/red seam longer. Fold over twice toward the blue panel. Then stitch the seam into position. The reason we fold into the blue fabric is to avoid sewing over top two seams, as would happen if we had cut the white/red panels and folded the blue over twice. Lay the flag FACE DOWN and smooth it out. Turn each of the long edges over ½" TWICE. Remember, the flag is lying face down, so turn the fabric toward you, not underneath (since that is the front of the flag). Sew along the edge of the seam and along the long edge of the flag, as close to the edge as possible. Turn the fly end of the flag over 1" TWICE. Stitch into position. Use three or four rows of equally spaced stitching to make sure the fly end is reinforced. If you use three rows of stitching the rows will be at the seam edge, down the exact middle of the seam (½" in), and at the fly edge of the flag. Four rows of stitching is a little harder to space evenly (it is NOT ¼" apart), but 3/8" should be close enough. Although the star could be put on the blue panel at this point it is better to wait until the header (or hoist) has been attached. Once the header is in place aligning the star becomes much easier. Measure 18" from the panel seam and draw a straight line (shown by the solid line in the diagram) with a fabric pencil. Then draw a second line ½" inch from the first (shown by the dashed line in the diagram). The first line is important because it will mark the interior edge of the header. The second line is an alignment marker. The blue panel was originally cut to allow 2" for the header. That is more than enough. If you decide to make the hoist 1 3/4" you'll have to cut a little off the blue panel. However, for the sake of this article, we will plan for a 2" hoist. Another consideration is in terms of cutting the canvas or cotton duck. This is thick material, and when it is folded it will take up some room. Therefore we will allow 1/8" for folds (over and above the measurement of the fabric itself. Therefore for a 2" hoist the calculation goes as follows: ½" (front turned seam) + 1/8" (front seam turn) + 2" (front part of header) + ¼" (for turning the header around the blue panel) + 2" (back part of header) + 1/8" (back seam turn) + ½" (for back seam): Total header width of 5½". The length of the header is 36" + 3/4" (for top seam tuck) + 3/4" (for bottom seam tuck) = 37½". The diagram above is an edge view of the hoist, exaggerated to show the details. Lay out the header so that the left long edge aligns with the 18½" line. Draw a line ½" in on the header (the pink line, 18" from the panel seam line on the diagram). Sew a line of stitching along this line, as shown by the pink dashed line in the diagram. Make sure you change the sewing machine needle from the Nylon needle to the universal needle appropriate for canvas. You will also have to adjust your bobbin tension and pressure foot tension for the thicker material. Consult your machine's User's Manual for the proper settings. You are sewing through several thicknesses of fabric, so go slow and follow the line as accurately as possible. Notice that the header is ¾" longer on each end than the width of the flag. Turn these ¾" flaps in on themselves. Then fold the entire header around the end of the blue panel, turn the edge in ½", and align the folded edge on the line of stitching showing on the back. Sew four rows of stitching on the hoist. The hoist is where all the wind loading must be supported, and where the flag will physically attach to a pole or staff. It therefore needs to be firmly reinforced. You can now attach the solid brass grommets. 7/16" brass grommets are recommended . You can buy a kit of these grommets, along with the mounting tool, for a modest cost. The position of the grommets is not critical, but they should be placed in the middle of the hoist (width-wise), and about 1" from the edge of the hoist to the center of the grommet. Cut a 13" star (as measured across the points) from the white Nylon and position it in the middle of the blue panel. Pin the star into position. Cut a large square of white Nylon, approximately 18" x 18", and pin it behind the star on the back of the blue panel. Make sure the square covers the star. Remove the universal needle and replace it with the stretch needle. Zigzag stitch around the star. This will not only attach the front star to the flag, but it will create an exact duplicate star on the back of the flag. CAREFULLY cut away the excess fabric around the stitching lines on the back of the flag. The idea is to remove excess white Nylon and not to cut into the star or the blue panel. Use trimming scissors or buttonhole scissors if possible because they are made for close work such as this. Upon completion of trimming the back star your Texas flag will be complete. TEXAS FLAG CODE Texas Government Code section 3100.002: Sec. 3100.002. DESCRIPTION: IN GENERAL. (a) The state flag is a rectangle that: (1) has a width to length ratio of two to three; and (2) contains: (A) one blue vertical stripe that has a width equal to one-third the length of the flag; (B) two equal horizontal stripes, the upper stripe white, the lower stripe red, each having a length equal to two-thirds the length of the flag; and (C) one white, regular five-pointed star: (i) located in the center of the blue stripe; (ii) oriented so that one point faces upward; and (iii) sized so that the diameter of a circle passing through the five points of the star is equal to three-fourths the width of the blue stripe. (b) The red and blue of the state flag are: (1) the same colors used in the United States flag; and (2) defined as numbers 193 (red) and 281 (dark blue) of the Pantone Matching System. (c) The red, white, and blue of the state flag represent, respectively, bravery, purity, and loyalty.