Thursday, July 04, 2002

No rest for weary flag makers

The Associated Press

        COSHOCTON — A company that has been making the Stars and Stripes since 1847 usually fills its July Fourth orders early and then gets a slack period. But not in this patriotic post-Sept. 11 era.

        “We've been running two 10-hour shifts six days a week to keep up with the demand,” Annin & Co. plant manager Richard Merrell said.

        The big orders for July Fourth usually are filled by Flag Day on June 14, Mr. Merrell said.

        The Sept. 11 attacks and resulting surge in patriotism changed all that at the 370-employee plant in eastern Ohio. Wal-Mart Stores, an Annin & Co. customer, sold 450,000 flags in the three days after the attacks.

        In recent weeks, the flags have been coming off the assembly line at the rate of more than a quarter million a week.

        Mr. Merrell said everyone at Annin feels it's their patriotic duty to work long hours.


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