Tattered, mud-covered American flag framed for flood victim as symbol of perseverance

Eyewitness News and Michaels teamed up to frame Marie Clark's mud-covered American glag. She wanted to keep it as a sign of her family's perseverance. (WCHS/WVAH)

CLENDENIN, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) - Eyewitness News helped surprise a Clendenin family, whose struggles we have followed for more than two months.

One family lost nearly everything they had in the June floods, but the one thing they held onto was their mud-covered, tattered American flag, which was still flying on their front porch when the water receded.

Now, that flag will hang, forever preserved, thanks to an incredible act of kindness from Michaels.

It was a picture shared on Twitter of Marie Clark holding her muddied American flag next to a new one that set off a chain reaction at Michaels.

She wanted it preserved as a testament to her family’s survival, but the cost kept her from doing it.

"I would never have been able to afford $2,000 framing, so ...," Clark said.

So, Eyewitness News reached out to Michaels about the Clarks' plight.

"I know Michaels, as a company, likes to give back to the community, so for our store to be a part of that is really amazing,” Sarah Taylor, Michaels South Charleston framing manager, said.

Taylor used an archival, acid-free mat to protect the flag from any further damage from the toxic mud. She sewed it on by hand.

We chose a barn wood grain, distressed with red, made in America.

Taylor lay the massive flag in its frame, wrapped it, and then it was time to deliver it.

When we gave Clark her framed flag Wednesday afternoon, there were lots of hugs and tears of joy.

The Clarks are still not finished putting the floors back in their house yet, but they did spend their first night at home Tuesday night.

They said the flag will hang in their game room.

Again, we would like to thank Michaels for making this dream come true for the Clark family.

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