It’s a Grand Old effort

Quilters at Faith United Methodist are repairing hundreds of American flags

-Submitted photo
Marcia Casbon, Jann Anderson, Wilma Nuehring, Linda Johnson and Jane Knoll, from left to right, repair American flags damaged by high winds while they flew over Graceland and Calvary cemeteries during the Memorial Day weekend in Webster City. The women, who more commonly make quilts on their Wednesday mornings at Faith United Methodist Church in Webster City, undertook the repair mission as volunteers.

WEBSTER CITY — The women of Faith United Methodist in Webster City have a long tradition of sewing quilts together on Wednesdays. Quilters show up with their own sewing machines, sharing coffee and fellowship as they sew colorful quilts for needy folks in the community.

A few weeks ago one of those women, Julie Maass, of Webster City, was talking with her neighbor, Lynn Jaycox, about the American flags flying at the Graceland and Calvary cemeteries over the Memorial Day weekend.

They agreed that the sight of those 554 flags flying was a beautiful one.

But, this year, the high winds did a number on those flags. Jaycox, who helps to coordinate the flag display for the local American Legion Post 191, said 375 flags needed to be repaired or disposed of.

At $40 a flag, that’s $15,000.

-Messenger photo by Cynthia Paschen
Jan Maas, foreground, and Jane Knoll, both of Webster City, sew new hems on damaged flags, above.

Maas committed her quilting group to repairing, perhaps, 25 of the flags.

In two weeks, the group had repaired 93, Jaycox said.

On Wednesday, the quilters gathered with the damaged flags at the church.

One volunteer ironed new hems on tattered flag edges.

Others threaded their sewing machines with red thread and re-hemmed those edges.

-Messenger photo by Cynthia Paschen
Jean Fox presses hems.

Maass said the group welcomes anyone who wants to pitch in and sew with the group on Wednesdays. Or take a few flags and work on the repairs at home.

“We don’t know how long it will take to repair them all; it depends on how many show up each Wednesday,” Maas said.

“We have Methodists, we have Catholics, and all are welcome.”

So far, the volunteers have repaired 150 flags. Most of the work is hemming, but in a few cases the stripes need to be restitched as well, Maass said

Some of the repaired flags will fly this weekend for the Fourth of July, going up Saturday and coming down Wednesday at Graceland and Calvary cemeteries.

Jaycox anticipates having to burn approximately 100 flags that are beyond repair.

Until all of the rest are repaired, the women of Faith United Methodist will press on.


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