POMEROY — A new spin on Old Glory can be found on a hillside in Pomeroy.
An American flag which is nine feet tall and teen feet wide has emerged along the entrance to Monkey Run and is made out of discarded and spray-painted cat food tins - that’s part of the “new spin” or “new tin.”
Steve Vanmeter of Pomeroy and the Drew Webster Post 39 of the American Legion, originally wanted to create something large for the Post’s float in this Saturday’s Veterans Appreciation Day in Pomeroy. Soon, the idea grew into a more permanent thought and even though the flag may still find its way onto a parade float this Saturday, it has found a permanent home on Vanmeter’s property.
Vanmeter said the flag consists of 34 rows, each containing 26 cans which equals 884 total cans - this also equals a lot of cat food. Vanmeter does have a cat but feeding his one cat was not going to provide him with enough materials so he turned to the Meigs County Humane Society and various friends and neighbors to help accumulate what he needed.
After constructing the frame out of lumber, Vanmeter then attached the rows of cans on to pieces of lath from an old home. This not only secured the cans but allows the tin flag to appear as if it’s moving when the wind picks up.
Vanmeter said he wanted the large, unique flag to honor the men and women of the US Armed Forces. Vanmeter himself is a veteran of the US Marine Corps and he agreed there was a strong community of veterans in the immediate area. He guessed this comes from growing up in small towns where everyone knows everyone else.
He recalled being taught how to hook a bowling ball at the Pomeroy bowling lanes by the late Tommy Lind of Pomeroy who was killed in Vietnam at the age of 21. Then, there was his neighbor, the late William Neutzling also of Pomeroy, who was killed in Vietnam at the age of 25. Vanmeter says he was in eighth grade and was burning trash in his yard when the military caravan arrived at his neighbor’s home to tell of Neutzling’s death. These losses made an impact on him much like they have made on countless Americans who still salute the flag, which no matter the material, hasn’t changed in a very long time - unlike a lot of other things in this country and in this big world.