April 10, 2015

Sen. Manchin presents historical society with war-time replica flags | Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — After years of wanting two historic flags for its collection, the Marion County Historical Society was presented the items by a U.S. senator.

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., presented the historical society with two small flags the society has been waiting for.

Although the flags were simple — one with a single gold star and one with several blue stars — they held a special meaning. Dora Grubb, the president of the historical society, said in World War II, families displayed a blue star in their windows for each family member who was serving in the war and a gold star for family members who died while serving.

Betty Andrews has been with the Marion?County Historical Society for several years. She said she contacted Manchin’s office and asked if there was any way he could get a replica of the flags for the historical society to display.

Andrews said the historical society had a real gold star American flag but wanted one that was a replica of one the mothers would hang in their homes.

“They were very nice to me, but I didn’t expect this kind of reaction,” Andrews said.

Andrews said she was shocked when she found out Manchin had taken the time to find the flags.
“I’m just so happy that they took the time to stop by and give us the flags,” she added.

Manchin said this was a way to honor those who served in the military and those who currently serve. When presenting the flags to the historical society, Manchin talked about their history. Referring to the Vietnam War, Manchin said there were more than 700 West Virginia citizens who lost their lives in the battle.

“Out of all the 50 states, West Virginia has sacrificed the most in defending our country,” he said.

Manchin said being able to bring the flags to his home county was an honor.

Grubb said it was an honor having Manchin at the historical society. She said one of Andrews’ favorite items in the museum is the gold star American flag.

Grubb said the two flags will be on display with the gold star American flag.

By:  Emily Gallagher