Paint 7 dowels with red paint (paint it to your desired effect, if one coat doesn’t do it, use two or more coats to get your desired effect.)
Paint 6 dowels with white paint (paint it to your desired effect, if one coat doesn’t do it, use two or more coats to get your desired effect.)
Once all 13 dowels are dry, assemble them alternating red and white with a red on top and bottom.
Use two wide strips of painter’s tape to hold all thirteen dowels together in order and tightly together.
Prepare your backing with adhesive. (I used Titebond II Glue and coated the the entire backing cloth.)
Turn the dowels over and place them on your backing so that all of them are secured to the backing with the adhesive or glue. If you put the backing with the adhesive on top of the dowels, turn over so the adhesive/glue does not run down and get on the front of the dowels or anywhere visible.
Let the adhesive dry
Using painters tape, mark off an area in the upper left corner. Measure down 7 of your stripes and then measure in from the left to the right that same distance. That square will be your field of blue for the stars
After you have masked that area off, paint it Blue (becareful of paint bleed and the blue getting on the red and white where you don't want it.)
Once the Blue is dried, apply the stars. You can buy some small adhesive backed stars and apply them or show off your creativity and free hand them with white paint. I cut out a circle the size of a quart of paint and marked out on the edge where the 13 stars would go.
Once the stars are applied and dried (if you painted them), I used picture hangers mounted to the top dowel to hang it.
Your piece is now ready to present to someone special or hang on your own wall in remembrance of Independence Day.