Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Annin Flagmakers’

Flag Day is Every Day at Annin Flagmakers in Coshocton

Flags- Sign on Door

This sign appears on all doorways at Annin Flagmakers.

Annin Flagmakers have been making the flag of our country since 1847. The sixth generation of this family now owns and operates the business. Here workers make over three and a half million 4’x6′ flags each year in addition to many other sizes, including stick flags.

   Alexander Annin had been making flags for merchant ships on the waterfront in New York City for several years before beginning Annin Flags in Lower Manhattan on what was called “Old Glory Corner”. Eventually, headquarters was moved to New Jersey with factories in Coshocton, Ohio and South Boston, Virginia.

Flags Headquarters

One branch of Annin Flagmakers remains in Coshocton.

   These flags are Made in America of the highest standards by experienced flag makers. They have learned what long-lasting domestically made fabrics to use and what inks hold their color the longest. Fabrics include everything from nylon and cotton to polyester, with nylon holding up best outside.

Flags - workplace

This view greets your eyes upon entering the work area.

   State, military, national and international flags are made by Annin. However, the Coshocton facility basically makes US flags with a specialty now and then. When visiting, they were also making golf pin flags.

   Local history shows that the Coshocton branch of Annin Flagmakers was started by a family from Newcomerstown in 1968. Vane and Barbara Scott had been in the business of decorating floats for parades all over the country but were ready to settle down back home.

Vane Scott First Flag

Eugene and Francis Waller with owners, Barb and Vane Scott, proudly display the first flag made by Colonial Flag Company in 1968.

   A man with a flagpole company suggested they bid on a contract for 10,000 American flags…and they won! They purchased six sewing machines and a strip cutter to cut the stripes. That was the beginning of Colonial Flag Co. By 1970, they had moved their business to a larger building in Coshocton.

   When the 1976 bicentennial rolled around, Colonial Flag Co. had difficulty keeping up with orders so decided to sell the company. There were two stipulations to the sale: keep the business in Coshocton and keep Vane and Barbara on as managers. Annin Flagmakers purchased the business at that time. The reason there is a flag company in Coshocton today is due to the determination of the Scott family to keep jobs locally.

   Vane and Barb served as plant managers of Annin Flagmakers in Coshocton until 1991. Then Vane III, or Bud as he is often called, served as manager until 2002 when he retired.

Flags- rolls of stick flags

These rolls of stick flags are ready to be processed.

   Over the years, Annin has made flags for many important national events including:

  • 1849 – Inauguration of Zachary Taylor as President
  • 1851 – Queen Victoria’s Great Exhibit in London
  • 1860 – All wartime flags for the Civil War
  • 1969 – NASA’s Apollo II mission to the moon.
flags-dave-manager.jpg

Dave Rogers, DIrector of Operations, is proud to be part of Annin Flagmakers.

   At Annin Flagmakers headquarters, I had a chance to talk with Dave Rogers, Director of Operations, and learn a little more about the way flags are made today. They employ 150 people full-time and also hire temporary workers during their busiest season. Everyone wants the flags to be in their stores for Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July.

Flags - Strips being cut

The digital fabric cutter is prepared to cut white stripes for the flag.

   One popular flag is a 3’x5′ sewn nylon flag. They make around 35,000 of them each week. One of the first tasks is to cut the large rolls of fabric into stripes and place them in rolls of various colors. They can cut up to six different sizes at one time on their digital fabric cutter.

Flags- cakes of color strips

The colored stripes are then placed into rolls before heading to the seamstress.

Flags- adding the field of blue

Janet, a 22-year employee, adds the field of blue to the stripes.

   The stripes are then sewn together with six long stripes and seven short stripes. Once they are together, the field of blue is added. Star Field prepares the embroidered star field where the polished white thread gives sparkle to the stars on the field of blue.

Flags- cutting the edges

A 25-year employee, Anita, makes the edges straight.

   These workers take pride in their product. Three of the ladies together had in 88 years at Annin so worked with speed and precision. Everything has to be perfectly straight and their quadruple-stitched fly hem makes them extra durable.

Flags - Memorial Wall

Their lobby displays flags that were brought back after foreign service.

   When a local young man or woman went off to the war in Iraq, Annin gave them two flags. They asked them to return one flag telling where they had taken it, and the other was for their personal use. A display in the lobby shows several of those flags that were returned to Annin.

Flags - Ohio Visitors Bureau

Get your flag locally at the Coshocton Visitors Bureau in Roscoe Village.

   You can find Annin Flags at the Coshocton Visitors Bureau in Roscoe Village, Walmart, Target, Krogers and many other places. The friendly staff at the Visitors Bureau will take special orders for you and show you the large selection available there.

Flags- Walmart display

This display of Annin Flags is ready to ship to Walmart.

   Show your pride in America by displaying its flag and honoring it with a flag made right here in the U.S.A.

Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

~Francis Scott Key The Star-Spangled Banner

Vane Scott Shares “The Many Faces of Old Glory”

Vane 13 star flag made by great-great grandmother.

Vane still has the 13-star flag hand-sewn by his great-great-grandmother, Sarah Mulvane Sultzer for the American Centennial in 1876.

Flags and their history have always been part of Vane Scott‘s life. His father, Vane Scott, Jr, actually began telling the story of the American flag back in 1975. At that time, young Vane’s father and mother co-founded their own flag company, Colonial Flag Company, which became a division of Annin Flagmakers, the largest flag company in the world.

Vane Miss America

Five-year-old Vane Scott wore the white tuxedo in a parade for Miss America. The float he rode was designed by his parents’ company, Great Scott Displays.

    Before that, they traveled coast to coast with Great Scott Displays, which was started by his grandfather. They decorated cities and designed parades for national functions such as General Eisenhower’s inauguration, Miss America homecomings, Hollywood premieres, and fairs all over the United States.

Vane speaks

Dressed in colonial garb, Vane addresses a Barnesville Masonic Lodge gathering.

     Vane III has a rich family heritage in the Newcomerstown area. His ancestors, the Mulvanes, were the first white settlers in the area. Their Masonic tradition rings strong as his son makes the fifth generation of the family that has been part of the Masons. When Vane speaks of his family, you can hear how much he admires their legacy.

     After high school, Vane served in the Navy on two destroyers. When he returned home, it seemed only natural to work in the Coshocton flag company. Eventually, he became their plant manager.

Vane and Dad

Vane, Jr and Vane III, father and son, shared a passion for the history of our flag.

     His dad encouraged him to learn the story of the flag so he could continue telling it to the next generation. They even practiced a couple of times at the kitchen table when his dad was very ill.

Vane's Dad with flags

His dad, surrounded by flags, began the dynamic flag program back in 1972.

     For relaxation Vane and wife, Sue, enjoy a backroads motorcycle ride. On a ride some two years after he lost his dad, Vane began repeating the flag story in his mind as they rode along. When they took a break, he told Sue, “I need to tell Dad’s Flag Story.” Soon thereafter, he began sharing the story of our flag’s origin.

Vane Grand Union

The Grand Union Flag is often considered the first national flag. It combined the King’s Colors with the thirteen stripes of the colonies.

     The story, “The Many Faces of Old Glory”, tells the story of how our flag was developed. It begins with the early flag of England and progresses through our present flag. The story’s purpose is to make people understand why we love this country so much. Children, especially, need to understand our rich heritage, as they are our future.

Vane - Betsy Ross five point star

Vane demonstrated how Betsy Ross made her five-point star with one cut of the cloth.

     While it’s not possible to give you his entire flag story here, it’s not a boring history lesson. You can be assured there’s a bit of humor thrown in throughout. There are over twenty flags included in the show and some are quite unique. He still uses the flags his dad folded all those years ago.

Vane Easton flag -stripes in corner

The Easton flag followed the First Flag Resolution description in an unusual manner with the stripes being in the corner.

     Of special interest was the fact that when Congress enacted the First Flag Resolution in 1777, it said: “Resolved the flag of the United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; and the Union be thirteen stars white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Every seamstress designed it in a different way. No two flags were alike. That’s where Vane got the title, “The Many Faces of Old Glory”.

Vane Great Star Flag - 20 stars

The Great Star Flag contained twenty stars. This replaced the prior flag with 18 stars and 18 stripes.

     At first, they added a stripe and a star to the flag for each new state. But you can see that would be very cumbersome. So it was decided to maintain thirteen stripes to represent the original thirteen colonies, and then add a star for each state. Out present flag has been in place with fifty stars since 1960.

Vane DVD

Share this amazing story of our flag’s history with “The Many Faces of Old Glory” DVD.

     A special performance of this show was held at Patriot Plaza in Sarasota, Florida where Vane presented the flag history to 2000 people. Here the background music was provided by a live symphony orchestra, Sarasota Pops Orchestra. This flag show travels the country and will be returning to Florida in 2020.

Vane Sue

His wife, Sue, who he met on a high school blind date, runs the musical portion of the program.

     Today he uses a recording of the Tuscarawas Symphonic Orchestra as background for his talk. That local connection also appears on his DVD of the show. If others can’t see the program, that DVD would be a great way to introduce your young family members to the history of our country through the story of the flag.

     This dynamic story continues to raise patriotism to the end when Vane joins a recording of his dad singing, “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Audiences are drawn to their feet as their voices are raised in singing our national anthem. His parents would be so proud of the story Vane is carrying on.

Vane Scott Main Street

As President of the Newcomerstown Historical Society, Vane appears on Olde Main Street as a shoe repairman.

     While Vane enjoys his flag story presentations, he”s not idle the rest of the time. Right now he is president of the Newcomerstown Historical Society, where tour buses are visiting their Olde Main Street Museum on a regular basis. He also serves as commander of the National Honor Guard, where they present at around thirty funerals a year. They also participate in several parades and serve as color guard for many school events.

Vane Scott -Amway Convention

His dad would perform the flag presentation for Amway and Eastern Star Conventions.

     Vane would like to perform more often for large groups all over the country as his dad did before him. This program should be a must see for all students to raise their awareness of our country’s history through the story of the flag. As one man said, “It’s history within history.”

     We may be born in America, but to be an American is quite another thing. After seeing “The Many Faces of Old Glory” you’ll leave a better and prouder American.

To contact Vane Scott regarding his program, “The Many Faces of Old Glory”, or to purchase a DVD, call Vane at 740-498-8803 or email vanescott@yahoo.com. Visit their website at http://www.ManyFacesofOldGlory.com .

Tag Cloud