Our Made in the USA Tag

So if you’ve ever ordered any SmithFly gear you’ve probably noticed our Made in the USA tag. It is not a typical Made in the USA tag.

It’s not that we hold anything against our flag, I’m a deeply patriotic person and I feel very strongly about our union. Our freedoms, ability to pursue our dreams, and our form of government are immensely important to me and I support them in every way.

But when I set out to make a “Made in the USA” tag I thought I needed to go deeper. I needed to get at the heart of what SmithFly is all about. I needed to find a symbol that connected on a deeper level, and went back farther.

What you see on our Made in the USA tag is our interpretation of a drawing called the “Thunderbird of the Makahs.” The Makah people live on the Cape Flattery in what is now Washington state. They’ve lived there for a long long time, much longer than the Smith’s have lived on this continent; who only arrived in the late 1850s.

Depicted is the Thunderbird, the animal that causes thunder, a Whale, it’s prey, and two dragons/fish/eels that are the Ha-hek-to-ak, or the animal that causes lightning.

The story goes like this:

…[a] giant lives on the highest mountains, and his food consists of whales. When he is want of food, he puts on a garment consisting of a bird’s head, a pair of immense wings, and a feather covering for his body; around his waist he ties the Ha-hek-to-ak or lightning fish… This animal has a head as sharp as a knife, and a red tongue which makes the fire… he spreads his wings, sails over the ocean till he sees a whale. This he kills by darting the Ha-hek-to-ak down into it’s body, which he then seizes in his powerful claws and carries into the mountains to eat at his leisure.”

Because when we go to the river and take our SmithFly gear, we take things that are made in the USA. We wrap ourselves in the feathers of angling gear and hook up our H-hek-to-ak and strike into the heart of giants.

That’s what we do.

Sure, the American Flag may be universally understood as the symbol for our great country. But the Thunderbird of the Makahs more closely represents the passion that we have for angling and doing things differently, which is why we chose it to represent our brand and Made in the USA.

Hook it Up!

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