Garner man exchanges tattered flags for new

Dan and Jeanne Dick of Garner with granddaughter Aleah Baxter.

Rebecca Peter | The Leader

GARNER – Memorial Day is over, but two more holidays associated with patriotism and the flag are on the horizon. Flag Day is June 14 and, of course, Independence Day is July 4.

When Dan Dick, Garner, sees the flag of the United States of America, he thinks about the men and women who have served their county – past and present.

A native Schaller, Iowa, Dick joined the Marines out of high school in 1976. He served for three years.

“They tend to infuse patriotism in you,” he said. “It’s also the history of the service people who went before you - the men and women who have given their lives for your country. You respect that through the flag.’

So, it bothers him when he sees an obviously tattered and worn-looking Stars and Stripes on a flagpole.

 “Basically it started with some elderly friends who had a flag that was in that was worn, so I volunteered to change their flag for them,” he explained. “I started paying attention to flags after that. When I noticed a flag that was pretty well worn, I’d ask [the homeowner] if I could replace their flag.”

“Then I thought, if I had a flag with me, I’d just offer a free exchange [a new flag for the old]. So I’ll buy a flag every now and then. When, I see a flag that’s well worn, I’ll offer to replace it.”

Since March, Dan has given away ten all-weather 3x5 foot U.S. flags - mostly to homes in the area that he driving to and from work or in passing.

Read the complete story in the June 13 Leader.