People have been sewing and showing their support for the men and women of our armed forces after a call to arms from the Sewing Soldier, aka Lieutenant Colonel Neil Stace.
Flags of Thanks was created for Armed Forces Day to say thank you to the military. Lt Col Stace said:
“We wanted to create something that showed support and gratitude for the armed forces, so we mobilised the Quilter’s Guild, the Embroider’s Guild and every sewing person across the country to create a flag that said thank you.”
At first, he only expected to receive a couple of hundred flags but now there are 1000 flags on display.
"Its absolutely blown my mind that we've reached 1000."
Lt Col Stace said each flag has its own personal story to tell, from a little girl's drawing of her mother in Afghanistan, to Lancasters practicing bouncing bombs off Herne Beach.
He added that ever stitch has enormous gratitude and feeling behind it, to say thank you for all of the hard work the Armed Forces put in every day.
Lt Col Stace told Forces Radio BFBS' Chris Sturgess:
“I’ve been weeping for a month reading some of the stories behind them; fathers who had been shot down, how mothers and fathers had met supporting north sea convoys. They created these stories in flags.”
The flags are now on display in St Thomas' Church in Salisbury to mark Armed Forces Day 2019.
Originally, following Armed Forces Day, the intention was to take the flags down and turn them into quilts for homeless veterans.
However, now, they are going on a tour of military museums around the country before being turned into quilts at a later date.
Lt Col Stace said:
"I want every member of the armed forces in this country to see these flags."
Armed Forces Day is a chance to say a huge thank you to our Armed Forces whether they are serving, veterans or cadets.
Lt Col Stace added:
“This is the biggest thank you, you can receive, it will literally melt your heart and inspire you to carry on with what you’re doing.”