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Posts Tagged ‘new england flag and banner’

Over at Bill Littlefield’s Only a Game on WBUR radio, Karen Given recently provided the background on athletic banners made in New England. The radio show is entertaining for all sorts of listeners as it covers anything remotely related to sports.

“The sewing room at New England Flag and Banner is humming with activity,” says Given. “It’s been that way for a while now — the company’s been around since 1892. The current owner, Ned Flynn, has only been in charge since 2006. …

“Among the photos on Flynn’s wall is one of Fenway Park, adorned with red, white, and blue bunting to celebrate the return of baseball after World War II.”

After a mini tour, Given describes the banner-making process: “Staples temporarily hold together full sheets of brightly colored fabric — usually nylon. The paper is used as a stencil to mark the pattern, but the design isn’t cut out. At least not yet.

“Skilled sewers, some of whom have been working here for 30 years, deftly zigzag around the stenciled marks. And finally, the extra fabric is cut off by hand, layer by layer, revealing the design.

“ ‘It’s counterintuitive,’ Flynn said. ‘People think we sew letters on and sew logos on. It’s actually the opposite. What we do is sew the image on and then we cut everything around it off.’ ” More here.

I like to read about longtime businesses like this chugging along in New England. I also like reading about start-up businesses. With three entrepreneurs in the family — including Suzanne (Luna&Stella), Erik (Nordic Technology Group), and John (Optics for Hire) — I am pretty sure the local economy is going to be OK.

Photo: Karen Given/Only a Game

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