Held annually on June 14, Flag Day commemorates the day in 1777 that the Second Continental Congress adopted the United States flag.
For Lee Forrester, owner of American Flag Company in Homewood, it’s the busiest time of the year.
“We just can’t keep up almost. It’s a wonderful thing right now so we’re going to enjoy it while it lasts,” Forrester said.
American Flag Company opened its doors about 100 years ago making flags. Forrester is the third owner and has turned the business into a flag distribution and installation company.
“We’re dealers,” Forrester said. “We provide whatever the public needs.”
Forrester, who comes from a family of entrepreneurs, said it means a lot to him to own his own business, and he loves that it is a flag business.
“Having a flag business, since I didn’t serve in the military, gives me a feeling of giving it back,” he said.
Forrester said Alabama’s patriotism makes the state “a great place to have a flag business.”
Talking to him about Flag Day, Forrester gets excited: “It should get everybody excited. I mean, we’re talking about our national flag.”
American Flag Company doesn’t only sell American flags, though. It also sells all kinds of other flags, from military flags to college flags.
“Alabama, Auburn, UAB. Everybody is going to buy their flags. We offer custom flags, religious flags, patriotic flags. Just any type of flag that’s out there we can offer it. If we don’t have it, we can get it,” Forrester said.
The company also provides flag installation and repair services.
“If you have a hundred-foot flag pole you want to put in your commercial business, we can do that as well. We’ve got a bucket truck, so we can service the flag poles even if the rope is broken from the top. So, no job is too big or too small,” Forrester said.
Forrester shared a personal story about a time he saw a flag in disrepair at a small community cemetery.
“I have a place on Smith Lake, and we were on the way one day to the lake. There is this cemetery off to the side, nice church. The cemetery is well-maintained, military mostly, and a storm had blown the flag pole down,” he said.
“I saw it once, and the next week I saw it again. I showed up and put them up a new flag pole and didn’t let them know anything about it. It’s kind of like one of those angels that appeared out of nowhere, so I felt good about that,” Forrester said. “They still have their flag, and they keep flying that flag regardless; even if they don’t buy it from me, that’s OK.”