Sheri Samson
Vera Reynolds displays the flag that was blown away, and then returned from the State Farm office in Hawthorne.

When Vera Reynolds returned to her office after running midday errands for Bill Frazier’s State Farm office on E Street in Hawthorne, she was sad to see their American Flag had disappeared from the porch due to extremely high winds. Upon closer inspection she saw that the flag holder had snapped off, causing the flag to blow away from the force of the day’s intense winds.

“That was a crazy day of high winds. I was sad to see our patriotic flag was gone but I couldn’t take the time to look for it. I actually had to leave Hawthorne soon afterwards so I could get home to Walker Lake in case the roads were closed,” Reynolds explained.

The following day Reynolds conferred with Frazier about replacing the flag but all the while the original flag was making rounds around Hawthorne. Amidst the heavy winds, some teens had found the flag blowing around the McDonalds parking lot. Not knowing exactly who it belonged to they took it back to the high school and turned it in, as it was still connected to the brass flag pole.

The office staff at the high school decided the Ordnance Museum might be a safe spot to hold it, hoping the original owners could somehow be found.

A week later, a visit to the State Farm office from Wandy Millsap’s mother, Clara Powers, brought the lost and found story to a close. Millsap, a board member with the ordnance museum, had mentioned receiving a lost flag and noticed that the office flag across the street at the State Farm office wasn’t flying anymore. Powers mentioned it to Reynolds, solving the mystery but more importantly showing the importance of a close, caring community.

Reynolds shared, “First I learned that there were teenagers in our town that cared and respected the American flag enough to chase it down, save it and bring it to a safe place. Then the high school staff spent their time on the rescue of it, making sure it went to a safe community spot at the museum. A network of observers saw that our flag was missing and sent the word out to me, again in an attempt of returning our lost, flying flag. This overwhelmed me. I realize to some it was just a flag, but to me it symbolized a connection of generations working together to make things right. We aren’t the throw-away society we sometimes think we are.”

Reynolds confirmed that as the flag was not used in military service it could remain on display after touching the ground, according to the American Legion website. She was happy to keep it up to remind herself of the flags survival and retrieval story. The flag also meant more than it ever had before, Reynolds admitted with a smile.