X50 Flag Mounts: Family, Patriotism, and the American Dream. This Is Who We Are
POSTED ON 05/11/2016 BY EUGENE LEPTIEN
We Stand Behind What We Do
The internet can be a crazy place. With the online shopping and social media craze you never really know who you may be buying from and way too often the business owners hide behind their websites and fancy marketing campaigns because they don’t want you to know who they are or what they stand for. Anonymity gives you the ability to be whoever you want to be and make your business seem bigger than it actually is; all of which makes it really hard to build those good ol’ fashioned relationships with your customers that is the foundation of any successful business. Way to often businesses will be oh so eager to take your money and sell you a product, but when something comes up or a problem arises are all but eager to make things right or make the process extremely difficult. When you are scared to deal with those situations you hide behind your website and hope those problems go away or just move on to the next sale, but in the day and age of social media if you’re not willing to stand behind your product the entire world will know that with one simple tweet. We here at X50 Flag Mounts believe in those values of doing what is right no matter what and believe in transparency, allowing you to hold us accountable and know exactly who we are and what we stand for.
Who we are Behind X50 Flag Mounts
So who are we, really? In a nutshell we are a family based company founded in the belief in the American Dream and good old fashioned hard work. My name is Ron Leptien, co-founder of X50 Flag Mounts here to tell you our story as to who we are and how we got started. Back in 2009 when I was a freshman in college I was sitting in a sociology class wondering what I was going to X50 Flag Mounts Founders Gene & Rondo with my life. I always knew I wanted to own my own business, but what would I do? After a brief contemplation that’s when it hit me, I’m going to go into business with my dad. My dad Eugene and I have always had a close relationship. Even though he drove truck most of his life we rarely went a day without talking growing up and was a dream to be able to work on something like this. My dad has always had the entrepreneur spirit and was always trying different things, but at his very core he was an inventor. He was always looking to come up with new products and ideas and has always been the big picture mind. Me on the other hand, am more business oriented which is why the following idea made so much sense, he can invent the products and I can run the business operations and get them on the market. And from that day in early April X50 Flag Mounts was born.
Where did we get the idea for our flag mounts and flags?
Remember back in 2001 right after 9/11 happened how everyone had a flag on their car? Well, my dad was one of those. He was driving truck at the time and he, like everyone else, decided he was going to show his patriotism and fly a flag on his truck. After one full day of driving he looked at the flag when he stopped for the night and the flag was already tattered with ½ of the flag already missing, just after 600 miles of driving. “This is going to get really expensive” he thought as he looked up at the tattered flag. The next day as he drove he held a flag out of the window, pondering how to make the flag last longer. As he let his creative mind wander he move the flag out of the clean airflow and behind his mirror which made the flag instantly stop waiving. That’s it! What if we can make the flag last longer by reducing the amount of air getting to the flag? After many test trials, over 500k miles of testing, and many years of sitting on the back burner the X50 Flag Mount is how it came to be today.
Are you a veteran? Why are you so passionate about veterans?
We actually get asked this a lot by our customers. Neither my dad nor I have served in the military or can be honored to be called a veteran for our armed forces. While we are not veterans we both have had key people in our lives serve for this nation’s great military. My full name is Ronald John Leptien of which my First and Middle name came from my Uncle Ronald John Hasko and John Hasko my grandfather. My Uncle Ronnie (as my family would call him) served in Vietnam during 1967-1968. He was an Army Private First Class E3 of the 26th Engineer Battalion A Company Unit under Americal Division Command. Born in December of 1947 he was 19 years old when he started his tour in the fall of 1967. On March 27, 1968 while in the Quang Tin Province of South Vietnam, his unit was ordered to clear brush. Early that morning while they were sleeping his unit was ambushed by the enemy. He suffered wounds by a mortar shell and died shortly after.My grandfather, John Hasko, served during WWII. His tour ended on March 17th, 1945 during the battle of the Remagen, a very important battle of the Allied Invasion of Germany. The battle was over control of the Luendorff Bridge over the Rhine River, which was one of the only remaining standing bridges over the Rhine. The capture of the bridge was said to have possibly shortened the war in Europe due to the Allies being able to rapidly transport 5 divisions over the bridge directly into Germany’s industrial heartland in Ruhr. The Germans desperately wanted the bridge destroyed and over a 10 day span used vast weaponry to try and collapse the bridge. The bridge finally collapsed at 3:00PM on March 17th. My grandfather was on one of the last Allied tanks to cross the bridge before it collapsed, however during the fight he was hit in the back of the neck by a piece of shrapnel instantly paralyzing him.
Another influence that has fueled our support for veterans is my dad’s brother and my uncle, Bruce Leptien, who also served in Vietnam. He served in the Army from 1968-1969. He was our inspiration for Vietnam Vet flag designs. He wanted his flag to be customized to his service including his medals and service years which gave us a deeper understanding of what other veterans might want on their flags or what they are looking for.
While neither my dad nor I served in the military a few of our family members have, with one sacrificing his life for our country. I am honored to be named after two veterans and take pride in
that, and those family members have greatly influenced why we are so passionate about our vets. The fact of the matter is our veterans were not treated well during the Vietnam era and even still today. From being called baby-killers and spat on no one who is willing to lay their life down for our country deserves to be treated that way. With our government stripping veterans of their benefits and still being mistreated even today we try to do our part, in any way possible, to make sure that our veterans get thanked for their service and they know how much they mean to us and to our business. Personally, working with our veterans is my favorite part of being in business. Whether it’s making a custom flag for them commemorating their service, mounting one of their mounts on their motorcycle, or just listening to their stories, our veterans are some of the nicest individuals you will ever meet and my dad and I are honored to be able to show them our support and is a strong pillar of what our business is all about.
What are some of our business goals?
From day one we have always wanted to be the best flag mount on the market. With that comes superior quality compared to the existing products on the market but also being able to actually save our customers money by being able to preserve the flags with our wing design. Another thing you should know about my dad and I, we have insanely high standards. With our name being put on the products we won’t ship a product out unless it’s perfect. This is another reason why we like to maintain control of the processes that make up the flags. We hand buff each mount ensuring a quality mirror like finish on the polished mounts. My dad is the best male sew-er I know and will reprint a flag and start over if the bobbin runs out of thread in the middle of a flag. We want our name to stand for quality in our industry. We also want to make flags for anything and everything. We are constantly coming up with new ways to mount flags, not just on vehicles either, and will always take advice and counsel from our customers to heart.
My dad and I started this business chasing the American Dream but give full Glory and Honor to God and Jesus Christ our Personal Savior who has granted us this opportunity. We have had to overcome a lot of adversity while getting this business started, from working full time jobs to provide for the business to not knowing how to make payments God has always provided and we always seek to give him honor in every way possible.
Hopefully after reading this you now understand us a little better and if you made it this far thank you for taking the time to read this. As mentioned before we want to be as transparent as possible and want to build relationships with our customers, not just make a sale. So if you have any questions or want to just chat more in depth about what you just read feel free to do so. And as always, thank you for your patronage and support, we appreciate your business. God bless.