SEVEN HILLS, Ohio — It's early in the morning and Joe Burdick can already be heard throughout his Seven Hills neighborhood. The buzzing from his sander smoothing out the rough spots on his latest handcrafted American flag.
"Our country has seen a lot of good and bad throughout its history," Burdick says. "And my flags represent that."
The Navy veteran served our country in Desert Storm.
"I love and appreciate the people that are serving right now."
While not active, in many ways Burdick is still serving his country -- not in combat, but with his craft.
He continues to share his passion for patriotism one handmade flag at a time.
"It represents everything that I love about our country," he said. "It's an honor for me to make these."
Being the grandson of a World War II vet, he was born with natural patriotism. As for his craftmanship, that came along later.
"I went to art school and wanted to become an artist. I wanted to paint paintings that people would put in their house. Well, I suck at painting so no one wanted any of my paintings," laughed Burdick.
It wasn't until a trip to Pat Catan's where Joe found new inspiration. There he found a wooden American flag that was made in China. That's when he decided to make his own.
He created Burdick Custom Flags, and since since then he has designed thousands of flags for athletes, celebrities, veterans and first responders all across the country.
"Everything we have, we owe it to our country and our veterans," Burdick said.
Like the colors of the flag, his pride runs deep.
"I want it to represent everything good in our country."
Each flag representing our country.
"None of us are perfect. We all have flaws. I accentuate the knots in the wood. God put that there. All I am doing is accentuating it," he said. "I make my flags to be imperfectly perfect."
Each flag honoring those who have fought for it.
"This is my way to honor them."
And celebrating our differences that ultimately brings us together.
"Our country is not perfect. We aren't perfect. But we are imperfectly perfect."
You can find more on Joe and his flags on his Instagram page.