“We turned it into a business when we saw how popular it was with people, even non-firefighters,” Chagonjian said. It turns out that the flags “mean a lot to many different people”.
The firefighter estimates his flags helped raise more than $ 150,000 for various causes and nonprofits, including the Boys & Girls Club, the Salvation Army, guide dogs, and firefighters who lost their homes in the forest fires.
“It’s kind of a cool thing,” he said of the money raised.
Each of the flags Chagonjian makes consists of cut pieces of fire hose that are flattened and then nailed into flag “strips”. Depending on the section, the hoses are either painted blue or red. Chagonjian then laser cuts stars for the flag.
He also customizes each frame using wood and a finishing technique called torches.
Chagonjian does the work in a garage shop in his Napa home. His tools include a laser cutting machine, chop saw, nail gun, router, and other devices.
“I make a few different sizes,” Chagonjian said, from small to large. According to its website, prices range from $ 100 to $ 399.
The medium-sized flag (24 x 40 inches) is the most popular, Chagonjian said. “It has a hose coupling that is pretty neat. It’s a good size for hanging around the house. “