Sylvia Nelson shows one of the flags she will repair and restore so they can fly proud and high.
Sylvia Nelson examines a flag for repair.
The American flag can mean many things to many people. If you ask an Olympic athlete what one of the highlights of their Olympic experience included and most often they will say the American flag being raised for them while the National Anthem played was very memorable.
When Sylvia Nelson of Huntington, sees an American flag she always looks at the condition of the flag. You see, she repairs flags and has been trying to restore flags to their original luster and glory for 20 years now.
She said, "I first started repairing flags for the American Legion on a volunteer basis. But, I started thinking that I could start a little home business with flags. I love the flag and I am a very patriotic person. I just love seeing the flag fly for all the holidays and I would like to see people fly it more. It just reminds us of our great country and the freedoms we enjoy. The freedom to fly our flag is a lot like our right to vote. We need to enjoy voting and flying our flag.
"Another reason I have such an attachment to the flag is that I am a military mom. My son Steven graduated from the Naval Academy in 1985 and has been in the service ever since. He will retire in a couple of years. He is now a Captain. He has been in Desert Storm, Iraq, Germany and Guam and many other places throughout the world. He is now stationed on North Island in Coronado and lives in California. He was here during the summer for two weeks and we had a great time. We did all the fun Emery County things. The grandkids took hunter's safety and we shot a lot, rode horses, rode ATVs, went camping and just had a great time. I am very proud of my son for defending our country.
"My business, "Restoring Old Glory," is registered with the state of Utah and I am licensed through Emery County. I have many cities, the county, businesses and individuals who bring their flags to me. One of the largest flags I keep in repair is the huge flag that flies over Bucyrus just north of Huntington. The first time a customer brings a flag to me, I repair it for free. I want them to know the importance of keeping their flag clean and in good repair and I want people to see my work. When the flag is flying on the flag pole you can't see the repair stitches that I put in the flags.
"It bothers me to see a tattered and torn flag. Sometimes a flag is in too bad of shape to repair. When that happens a flag must be retired in the proper, dignified and respectful manner. Scout groups take care of flag retiring as well as the American Legion.
"Some materials hold up better than others in a flag. I have found the nylon flags hold their color the best and they wear well. I have found a way to set the dye in a flag so the colors don't fade when they are washed. Some materials work best if they are dry cleaned. I also use a product that glues frays together.
"You can also fix your flag yourself if you want, you just need to make sure it stays in proportion. My husband bought a flag once that was out of proportion and it was made in China. Don't buy your flags from China. Buy them from a manufacturer in America.
"I never charge more than $20 for a flag repair, most I can do for $10 because I have it down to a science now and can fix them in a little time.
"I just want to see these flags flying and not tattered. You know Blake Jones recites that poem, the 'Ragged, Ole, Flag, but I don't like to see them ragged. I like to see them flying in a proud state and flown correctly. It's a privilege to fly our flag. I know our flag and our country has been through a lot and the flag is one of the symbols that I hold dear in my life," said Nelson.
You can reach Nelson at 687-9184 if you think your flag might qualify for repair.