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Hidden Cincinnati: The National Flag Company is woven into Cincinnati history

Posted at 7:18 AM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 19:00:27-04

CINCINNATI — For more than 150 years, some of the American flags that adorn things like US naval ships, or have been given to world leaders as gifts, have been made right here in Cincinnati.

The National Flag Company has called the West End home since 1869, and members of the Schaller family have been helping to lead the company for many years.

Art Schaller Jr., the National Flag Company's current president, started working at the company in 1979, two years after his father, Art Schaller Sr., became president of the company. Now Artie, Schaller's son, works at the company, and one day the company will be in his hands.

"It's kind of in the Schaller blood," Art Schaller said.

And what makes the flags made by the National Flag Company so special is they are sewn by skilled craftsmen, like Schaller himself, who still finds time to work with a needle and thread.

"I enjoy sewing," Schaller said. "I'd say, this year, I'm probably sewing a good 20 hours a week or so."

Schaller said he thinks the National Flag Company is one of the best-kept secrets in Cincinnati.

"To some degree, we still are," he said. "But we feel like we're kind of starting to come out of our 150-year-old shell a little bit."