Randolph County flag presented

FLAG PRESENTED–Pictured in the Randolph County Board of Commissioner’s boardroom with the county flag are: Commissioners David Holder, Marc Kiehna and Ronnie White, Red Bud VFW Sr. Vice Commander Clyde Rowold, Shirley and Robert O’Rear, Red Bud VFW Commander Clarence Nail and Red Bud VFW Quartermaster Larry Ehlers.

A rare Randolph County flag was presented and a new administrator for the county care center was approved at the Jan. 12 Randolph County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Robert O’Rear, of Sparta, along with his wife Shirley, was present to discuss and present a county flag to the commissioners.

He noted that this flag was one of only four hand sewn Randolph County flags.

O’Rear, who has always had in interest in history, noted that when he was in grade school, his seventh grade teacher approached him about entering a contest. At the time, there was no official flag for Randolph County so there was a contest for students to submit an essay and designs for a flag.

O’Rear did some research on the county’s history and entered a design. His design ended up making it into the top three.

The final flag design, he noted, combined and used elements from all of the top three submitted flag designs. Four hand sewn flags were then created. Each of the top three flag designers received one, while the last flag was given to the county.

Of the four flags, so far only two have been recovered. It is hoped that the other two may still resurface.

O’Rear kept his flag all these years, making sure to refold and repackage it to keep it in the best possible condition. His flag even spent many years traveling in his Navy footlocker while he was in active service. “It was a cherished item to me,” he told the commissioners.

O’Rear and his wife, who shares his interest in history, used to own an antique business. They discussed his flag and felt that they should donate it to the county.

For more from the Board of Commissioners meeting, please see this week’s print edition.