Since today is Flag Day, I thought I’d look at some beer art that also uses the American flag. The reason it’s Flag Day is because in 1777, “John Adams introduced the following resolution before the Continental Congress, meeting at Philadelphia, PA: ‘Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.’” Since that time, breweries (and all other business ventures) have been wrapping themselves in the flag to sell products, invoke patriotism or just celebrate living in America. It will probably not surprise you to know I’m also a flag geek, though I think I may have already revealed that tidbit before now (oh, yes I did).
Here’s a typical example from the 19th century, a New York brewery’s calendar for 1899.
But even in modern times, several microbreweries have used flag imagery on their labels, most notably Stoudt’s American Pale Ale. Stoudt’s flagship (pun intended?) APA uses a bold, stylized painting of an American Flag that looks like a cross between a Jackson Pollock and Jasper Johns.
I don’t know who painted it and there’s no information on the label itself. I could call Carol Stoudt and ask, but it’s Sunday and it can no doubt wait until tomorrow. They even extended the artwork to the six-pack carriers.
But I’ve always liked its jagged edges, the indistinct stars created from the white paint alone, and how the colors mix between all the ribbons of red and white while remaining clearly defined nonetheless.