WWII Veteran Pays Tribute To The Stars And Stripes By Crafting Flags Of His Own

BAY SHORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Flag Day has a personal meaning for a World War II veteran on Long Island. He’s worked hard to pay tribute to the stars and stripes.

CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock explained how his pet project became a sought after piece of art.

“I want to make a flag with thirteen stars on it, and say do you know the original thirteen states,” Gerry Goldman said.

Goldman admits that he didn’t know when he crafted his first American flag out of wood 10 years ago. He worked out of his basement then, but at 94 he admits that taking the stairs isn’t so easy.

“This is where I make them now — out in the kitchen. I have a saw in the garage, cut them down, bring them in here, and paint them,” he said.

Three simple colors; red, white, and blue line his kitchen table, and together they shade his masterpieces.

“Kept making them for the fun of it, ya know,” he said.

In the beginning he just handed the flags out to neighbors with only one stipulation.

“I don’t want you to hide it in the house, you know,” he said.

It must be out in the open, and it better be hung straight.

“I do get annoyed. What the hell’s wrong with you, keep it straight,” Goldman added.

His neighbor of 38 years – Marianne Davis, said she’s had her flag for two years now.

“My husbands a veteran. I’m very proud to display it, and it’s Flag Day today,” she said, “I’m very proud. Proud of all servicemen.”

Drive down Abrew Street in Bay Shore and you’ll spot Gerry’s flags prominently displayed on house after house.

Word started to spread about Gerry’s flags — more people wanted to get their hands on them. He went in search of stores willing to sell them.

In Islip, Nook & Crannies store owners Lori Ziegel agreed to consign them.

“Jerry is the appeal,” she said.

She told CBS2 the member of the Greatest Generation is just a great guy.

Today, his flags hang in thirteen states and Great Britain. The appeal behind the flags?

“I haven’t the faintest idea,” Gerry said.

Perhaps it’s because they know they’re buying an original Gerald Goldman and part of American history.

The flags are being sold at a few other locations across Long Island as well.

Gerry said he’s sold about 400 and given away more than 50.

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