Green Berets represent the U.S. Army’s elite fighting force, and Staff Sergeant Kyle Daniels has taken that skill and dedication from the battlefield abroad to his work at home. The former Special Forces member is the founder and CEO Firebrand Flag Company, which has produced the first-ever fire-resistant flag.
“I want Firebrand Flags to be the official flag company of the U.S.A.,” Daniels says on the company’s website, “and, if for some reason, one of our enemies got ahold of one of our flag, they would have to go to extreme lengths to destroy it, much like they do when they are face to face with an American service member.”
After serving in Iraq Daniels returned to civilian life in the United States and had a tough time adjusting to disrespect for the American flag. “I got sick to my stomach watching the American flag being burned as a means of protest,” he told The Veterans Project. “That flag means so much more to me now after seeing the sacrifice of my brothers and sisters in arms made to defend what it represents.”
Trying to envision “a positive counter-measure to the disrespect that was being shown to our flag,” both at home from protesters and abroad from terrorist groups, Daniels decided to create a flag that would be nearly indestructible. “I knew there had to be a way to produce a flag that could defend itself when nobody was around to defend it,” he explained.
The reality of making a fire-retardant flag and getting it widely distributed was much more difficult than Daniels originally thought, but he persevered and launched his first product, appropriately named “Old Glory” on Flag Day, June 14, 2020. “The process to make the flag required entirely new cutting machines and the largest purchase of Kevlar fabric outside of the U.S. military,” he explains on his website.
All of this time, effort, and energy the former Green Beret has put into the company was dedicated to making “a flag that would look, feel and fly like a real flag but that wouldn’t burn.”
Along the way, Daniels got lots of help from fellow former service members, including Jason van Camp, the former Commander of Daniels’s Green Beret unit. Van Camp created Warriors Rising, a veteran business incubator, which was designed to help projects like Firebrand Flags get off the ground.
With the help of a business mentor that Daniels was paired with, he set about solving the technical challenges involved in his concept. “If things had gone the way I initially envisioned with Firebrand Flags, I would have been up and running within six months and every red-blooded, patriotic American would be proudly flying one of my flags in front of their house or business,” Daniels said.
Of course, working with high-tech materials like kevlar, an incredibly strong and heat-resistant synthetic fiber used for bulletproof vests and combat helmets, and nomex, a flame-resistant fiber used in firefighters’ gear, presented obstacles, but as a seasoned veteran of the U.S. Special Forces, Daniels was not discouraged.
“When I hit those roadblocks, I simply have to adapt, overcome, and do whatever needs to be done to accomplish the mission,” he explained.
Having accomplished his first objective of creating the first fire-retardant American flag, Daniels’s next goal is getting the word out. “I want every home, business and government building in America to proudly fly one of our flags,” he declared. “I also want it to fly outside all of our embassies and forward operating bases overseas.”
Daniels’s company slogan is “Freedom fears no fire.”
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