I just finished an AF retirement cake that was very involved with several different icing pieces, including an American flag, 2 different Air Force emblems, and a plaque...some made out of royal icing, and some out of fondant and gum paste. The cake itself was iced in buttercream frosting. Most cakes that I have seen using a similar design, all have something that sort of resembles a flag, kind of patchwork, or not enough stars or stripes, or something. I personally think "Old Glory" should look as close to the real thing as possible, so that's what I put on this cake...complete with all 50 stars. The scariest part of decorating this cake was placing the heavy fondant flag on the cake. I made sure that both single layer tiers had plenty of support.