Welcome to a New FlagSource Experience!
At FlagSource, we take great pride in our commitment to our customers. Our team of professionals is focused on combining superior products with excellent customer service. We have embarked on an exciting journey to improve our technology and equipment so that we can provide an even better experience for our customers. Our pledge is to you is an experience that is Bigger, Better and Faster.
We have added a new, state of the art, MS Italy printer to our line-up of digital printers. This printer doubles our output capability, which means we can turn around custom print orders faster than ever! We remain committed to providing the best quality custom flags to the reseller market with the most fade-resistant ink and longest lasting material. In addition to adding a new digital printer, we are adding new sewing machines to support our U.S. Flag business. We will have more capacity than ever, and we look forward to being your supplier of choice for both U.S. and custom flags.
We have invested in multiple technologies that will improve the customer experience. First, we have installed new software in our printers that allows us to better control quality through precise ink distribution. Second, our new website will provide our customers with online ordering and custom flag template loading which means you can order your products at any time!
We know that turnaround time is important to our customers. That’s why we are excited to announce the launch of our Custom Express program. This program is designed to give our customers a competitive advantage over those who do not purchase from FlagSource. In addition to the Custom Express program, we are upgrading our operating system to integrate with our website for faster order processing. We are excited to gear up for doing business in the fast lane!
FlagSource Company History
J.C. Schultz Enterprises was founded on June 14, 1920, by John C. Schultz and his wife, Lillian, in their home in Chicago. They manufactured fraternal regalia for many well-known Chicago clubs and fraternities including the Masons, Kiwanis, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Lion’s Club. Being a good salesperson, John visited with his customers regularly and noticed his customers all had one thing in common – lots of flags! John realized flags were a perfect fit for their business and the flag business was born! John and Lillian started manufacturing applique flags and soon became a distributor for state and U.S. flags. Tragically, a decade later in 1932, John passed unexpectedly. Despite her devastation, Lillian decided to continue with the business which would become a family legacy. Lillian ran the business for the next 18 years until 1950 when she formed a partnership with her son-in-law, Walter T. Christiansen. Lillian’s daughter, Dorothy Christiansen, joined the business and they formally named the company J.C. Schultz Enterprises. It was truly a family affair.
Under the new partnership, the business made its first move to expand by renting a small store and shop on Madison Street in Chicago in 1951. With a storefront, they were now able to sell flags to the public in addition to the fraternal clubs. Business grew in the years that followed and Walter had his eye on expansion. He added flagpoles, pennant strings and a team of servicemen for installation. In 1956 the company was officially incorporated as J.C. Schultz Enterprises Inc.
During the 1960’s, Walter’s sons, John and Bill, joined the business. John worked in sales and marketing while Bill managed operations. Walter and Dorothy took over the business in 1972 and in 1975, they asked Janice, John’s wife, to join the business to help with sales. Five year later, Bill’s wife Barbara, also joined the business.
John was a visionary in the flag industry, and he had big ideas for FlagSource. During his time at FlagSource he created the first McDonald’s branded flag, he created the first boutique “Happy Birthday” flag for his son’s first birthday. He was tenacious in pursuing the Hilton corporate contact and after many years his efforts were rewarded. 50+ Years later, Hilton is still a customer of FlagSource.
The pre-bicentennial of 1975 brought about unprecedented demand for flags and John pressed his vendors for more product. He pushed his suppliers and told them, “Either you get me enough flags, or I will start manufacturing flags myself!”. A year later, the company became a full line manufacturer of the US, state, international and custom flags. John had transformed the business from being primarily a distributor to being a world class manufacturer. To accommodate the need for more manufacturing space, they moved the business to Wolf Road in Northlake, IL.
In 1979, J.C. Schultz Enterprises entered the promotional products industry. John recognized that brand name products would stand out from the competition and brand name FlagSource, was born. The branded products were received well, the business took off and they consolidated operations in St. Charles, IL in 1984
Tragically, the wave of growth was interrupted with John’s sudden death in June 1985 and Walter assumed the leadership role until his passing in 1987. Upon urging from family, Bill Christiansen stepped in to run the business until the end of 1989 when he left to pursue his true calling of being a minister.
With the loss of leadership, the business had lost momentum and Dorothy realized she needed help. She turned to her daughter-in-law, Janice Christiansen, who had never planned on running a business. But Janice was not one to be deterred by a new challenge and she accepted her mother-in-law’s invitation to join the firm as president in 1990. Upon joining FlagSource, the board of directors recommended to close the business. Janice was faced with a significant challenge. She knew if she liquidated the company, she would be putting 60 employees with families out of work. Janice boldly rejected the board’s recommendation and went on the offensive. She got on the road and met with each of her vendors to work out a strategy to grow FlagSource.
In 1985, the 4th generation of Christiansens joined the business. Jon Christiansen joined the business and worked his way up to manage production. Then, in 1989, Spencer Christiansen joined the team to and worked his way up to managing sales. By 1997 each of them took a leadership role in the business and their significant contributions helped make FlagSource into a world class manufacturer.
With the business running successfully and after years of renting facilities, the Christiansen family decided it was finally time to buy their own building. In 2005, J.C. Schultz Enterprises moved to 951 Swanson Drive in Batavia where the business resides today. This facility provided the space needed for both manufacturing and office personnel along with the option to expand in the future.
In 2009, after spending nearly 20 years in manufacturing and growing FlagSource into a world-class organization the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association called on her leadership to support manufacturing across the state of Illinois. Janice Christiansen was elected to be the first woman Chair of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association in its’ 116-year history.
After 30 years of successfully running FlagSource, Janice decided she was finally ready to partially retire. In 2021 she named Spencer Christiansen as president and welcomed seasoned veteran, Steve Smith, as Director of Operations. Steve has over 20 years of print and operational excellence experience and is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Janice remains active in the business but behind the scenes as CEO. In 2021, Jennifer Christiansen joined the business as Director of Sales and Marketing bringing with her much needed experience to help FlagSource grow and expand.
At FlagSource, we are a family business, and it is the entire FlagSource family that has brought us to where we are today. We are preparing for our next chapter of growth with new technology that will offer our customers bigger, better and faster products than ever before!