A quick glance and it's hard to see the “flag” in the flag quilt now on display at the Dobson Museum.
The flag can almost be brushed off by recognizing the names embroidered in blue on the stars in the top left-hand corner and the other names embroidered in red in horizontal stripes.
But, if one takes the time and really looks at the flag quilt, one will see the faded blue material in that left-hand corner and the faded red material between the stripes of embroidery.
The quilt was created around 1920 by the congregation of the Commerce Christian Church. It was given as a gift to the wife of the church's pastor, Glennie LeMay.
She eventually passed the quilt on to her daughter-in-law, Patricia Looper of Morganton, N.C.
She, in turn, donated the quilt to the Dobson Museum in memory of the original recipient and her husband, the Rev. William Monroe LeMay, and her sons, Michael LeMay Dye, Donald William Dye Jr., Patrick Varley Dye and Joseph Sterling Dye.
“The quilt had been kept boxed up since the 1960s,” said Ramon Hale, assistant manager of the Dobson Museum and president of the Ottawa County Historical Society. “While many might think that's the best thing you can do with fabric, many times it isn't.
“You can see the areas where the material actually spoiled on the folds.”
The quilt contains 411 names - some still found locally such as Daugherty, Wyatt and Chesnut.
Others include the then Gov. Johnson.
“The donor went to the trouble of indexing the names on the quilt,” Hale said. “We've got a book with all the names listed and a map so people can find a name they are looking for.”
Hale showed off some of the names on the quilt.
People might be surprised that he was wearing cotton gloves as he touched the quilt.
“I've been with the museum long enough to know that it's not good to touch old fabric with your bare hands,” he said.
Currently, the quilt shares the wall area outside the elevator at the museum with another quilt - a “Rose of Sharon” pattern created by Margaret Emert in 1856.
At the end of March, the flag quilt will be mounted in a protective case.