NH woman reminisces of grandfather who helped create largest flag in world in 1914
MANCHESTER — Hundreds of people gathered at the Mill West in Manchester to celebrate one of America's largest flags, a flag that holds a special meaning for one woman.
"I'm very proud to be here today because my grandfather was one of the original members who participated in creating that flag at the mill in 1914," said Dot Collins, who was born and raised in Manchester.
Collins' grandfather, John J. Cunningham, took part in the displaying of the original 95-by-50-foot flag manufactured by workers at the Amoskeag Manufacturing Co. outside of the mill. He can be seen standing proudly in a historic picture taken in 1914.
Cunningham worked at the millyard where he and his brother Luke invented a part to make their daily work easier. This invention earned them $100, which, according to Collins, was like receiving a million dollars during that time.
Over 100 years later, a replica of that American flag, which once held the record for the largest flag in the world, flew against the Mill West building thanks to an event put on by the building's owner, Brady Sullivan Properties.
Collins' best friend of 54 years, Natalie Cuchetti, said: "We had to be here because of the history."
The afternoon event consisted of speakers expressing the importance of Flag Day, and how this flag shows patriotism in Manchester.
"It was really neat meeting a number of people here today that had relatives that were in that picture or worked on that flag or manufactured flags for Amoskeag, so this flag is a touchstone on a number of levels for people," said District 4 Executive Councilor Christopher Pappas.
Arthur Sullivan of Brady Sullivan Properties awarded a $10,000 check to the Manchester Historic Association and a $25,000 check to Liberty House, which is a nonprofit organization that helps homeless veterans.
"You can't talk about flag day without paying tribute to our veterans who protect and uphold everything that the flag stands for," Sullivan said.
The flag will stay on display for the next few days, overlooking the Queen City.