I've seen a lot of flags created using pallet wood or old barn wood. Maybe I'm just a little old-fashioned, but most of them don't have the 13 stripes and 50 stars. I wanted to make a flag, but I wanted it to be accurate. I also didn't want just a simple flag - I could just buy one of those. So this piece was designed to simulate the flag flapping in the wind. I used some scrap 2x4's and aligned the grain to look like it is flowing in the wind. The red and blue grains show up well here, but the white didn't come through as well in the photo. Looks great in person though.
I also varied the depth of each piece of wood and aligned it so you can get the effect of the flag rippling in the air. So you've got both the ripple in the depth of the wood and the ripple by the grain patterns.
If I make another one of these, I'll be more selective in the wood I choose. Didn't really like the way one board came out - you can see the top left in the blue the grain pattern wasn't as pretty. Oh well. Every artist I've ever met isn't 100% happy with their work.
All-in-all was quite happy with the way it's turned out.