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Flag Cadillac Makes for Patriotic Showstopper

By: National Flag Foundation
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Ben York has always worn his patriotism on his sleeve. So, it was no surprise when he decided to paint the Stars and Stripes on his open-top Cadillac.

York, a resident of Centerville, Utah, comes from a family that has collected Cadillacs for many years. Not long after he brought a 1987 Cadillac Brougham limousine, York discovered that the vinyl top was wearing out. He promptly ripped the top off and began using the car for parades.

“It was a beautiful white car and it got a lot of attention,” said York. “But it still needed something else to stand out.”

Last June, York decided to paint the car like Old Glory. York and his brother, James, spent two long weekends giving his car a red, white and blue makeover.

“The minute we pulled the car out of the garage, it started getting a lot of attention,” said York, a professional painter. “People would wave at us on the freeway and take videos.”

On July 4, 2018, York was invited to drive his “Flag Cadillac” at an Independence Day parade in Summerville, Utah.

“It was the perfect car for a dignitary, so I asked the mayor to join me for the ride through town,” recalls York. “Needless to say, the car turned a lot of heads.”

The “Flag Cadillac” was now one of York’s favorite cars but he eventually had to make a difficult decision.

“My family was building up its collection of older cars and we needed to clear some space,” he said. “So, reluctantly, I decided to sell the car on eBay.”

During an auction in April 2019, York’s car got 10,000 views and attracted some serious bidders. York’s eBay ad stated, “Don’t be surprised if you come out of your local diner and a flock of eagles have begun nesting in the back of this national treasure. If you drive this Caddy past Mount Rushmore, you’d have the four freedom fighters cranking their necks and turning their heads to take a peek.”—a car collector website—was so impressed with York’s ad that it nominated York for the prestigious “eBay Listing of 2019” award.

Steve Marsh, a software executive from Portland, Ore., heard about the car on a radio segment while he was driving to work. When he checked out the ad on eBay, Marsh knew he had to buy the car.

“The car—quite obviously—was unique,” said Marsh. “The rare combination of limousine, convertible, Cadillac and American flag paint job makes it nothing less than amazing. I thought it would be great to have it for Fourth of July celebrations in the summer. I’m hoping, many years from now, that my kids also enjoy it.”

Marsh added that he plans on keeping the Cadillac in storage for most of the winter before bringing it out for the summer.

“There’s a great Fourth of July parade in Long Island, New York. Maybe I can bring it out for that celebration,” said Marsh.

While York is sad to see the “Flag Cadillac” go, he doesn’t rule out painting another Caddy in the future.

“My creative juices are flowing and I’m itching to paint another “Flag Cadillac.” On the one hand, I feel that painting too many versions of this car will make it a little less special. But then again, I don’t know how I can live without one, either. It’s nice to be able to honor our flag this way,” said York.