Community News Walker County veteran's hand-made wooden flags become hot ticket item

Community News Walker County veteran's hand-made wooden flags become hot ticket item

August 3rd, 2016 by Katie Ward in Community Walker

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To purchase one of Jack Tucker’s wooden flags, call VFW Post 3679 at 706-861-0061.

Vietnam veteran Jack Tucker is paying tribute to the United States by distributing wooden American flags that he makes and paints by hand.

Tucker's living room in Fairview is literally wall-to-wall with American flags because he hangs them up to dry before delivering them. Tucker then distributes them to VFW Posts throughout the U.S.

Local VFW Post 3679 has one of the unique flags hanging on its wall to welcome guests.

Tucker said he got the idea after he saw a man painting American flags on the side of VFW buildings, picking one building in each state.

"That's when I called [VFW Post 3679 Service Officer] Larry Hester. I want to put one of my manmade wooden American flags [in VFW locations] in every state and in the two U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico," said Tucker. "The estimated time to make one flag is 10 hours. I've only got about 14 distributed out so far."

The flags are made out of poplar and cedar wood from Alabama.

"You can't buy the wood [I use] at Home Depot or Lowe's," he said. "The cedar comes from Fort Payne, Alabama, and Albertville, Alabama. I'm single and I have a girlfriend in Alabama. Her son has a sawmill and he saws the wood for me. I take it from the rough product to make the American flags."

Tucker's flags have made it into some high-profile places as well.

"I have one of my flags hanging in the Pentagon in the Commandant of the Marine Corps' office. His name is Robert B. Neller," said Tucker.

According to Hester, Neller was "tickled to death" to get one of Tucker's handmade American flags.

"People see them as a work of art," said Tucker, who also gave one to FW Department of Georgia State Commander Bill Sandberg.

Hester said he has the first wooden American flag Tucker ever made hanging in his office at Post 3679. He also displays a wooden Purple Heart and a wooden Marine Corps emblem made by Tucker in his office.

Tucker has been drawn to woodworking for 30 years, he said, adding that when he retired from Coca-Cola in 2011, his woodworking took off.

"I started woodworking with a saw and a sander when I quit smoking," he said.

Tucker also sells his flags to veterans. Each flag is sold for $125, allowing him to purchase materials to build four more.

"I'd rather give it to someone that appreciates it and displays it. I don't want to see it in a closet or under a bed or in an attic," he said. "I've done every nail and every screw in my flags; I have done everything to them except for the rough-cut saw wood from the sawmill. I work five days a week, eight to 10 hours a day. I get up at 9 a.m. and work till I get so tired I give out. It's part of the enjoyment."