I applied a US flag to the transom last night, mostly as a test as if it turned out ugly I can either just use it on the inside or make a new transom pretty easily from a new piece of plywood, no biggie. Turned out “just ok”, learned a couple of lessons though that I thought I’d share.
I used a 12 x 18 “stick flag”. It was a printed flag, not one with embroidered stars. I think you could use an embroidered star flag but it won’t lay flat very nicely and you’ll get air bubbles. The flag had starch or some sort of sizing on it, as it was a bit stiff in texture. It came stapled onto a stick, I used needle nose pliers to pull the staples.
The basic process was to lay down a thin coat of epoxy, lay the cloth down and position it, then roll a medium coat of epoxy over the top. This all went reasonably well, except the area where the flag has been stapled to the stick. With the stiffness from the starch // sizing there was a little curl to the fabric that would not really quite lay flat in the area. Next time I think I will a) first rinse out the flag in hot water to wash out some of the sizing and let it dry and b) iron the thing totally flat, before trying to laminate it on.
The flag was made out of some sort of not too tightly woven cotton or polyester and it retained it’s colors pretty well, perhaps made them a bit darker when saturated with epoxy. I am wondering how a nylon flag would do, in particular will white areas turn transparent or bleed through underlying grain etc. similar to fiberglass cloth?