Main Street Kansas: Russell man creates flags, honors heroes

RUSSELL, Kan. (KSNW) – A Russell man, with a passion for service, is making meaningful art pieces for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Russell, Kansas is a place where the birds sing loud, where the wind blows strong and Old Glory stands tall. One sheriff’s deputy, who lives in the small town, said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“You got people, you drive by on the street and you may have only seen them once, but they want to wave at you. They want you to stop and talk and that’s a good job,” said Trevor Dinkel.

Dinkle, 28, grew up surrounded by people who serve. His dad is a retired firefighter who now works at the Ellis County Jail. His oldest brother is a fireman and his other brother is a police chief.

“This is all I’ve ever wanted to do and quite frankly it’s all I have ever known,” Dinkel said.

When Dinkel isn’t serving and protecting others, he can be found in his garage. That’s where he spends a majority of his free time creating wooden flags, memorializing those who have died in the line of duty.

“It just goes form Old Glory, thin blue, thin silver, thin green, thin white and the one I’m making today is thin red,” he said.

Dinkel methodically spray paints, brushes and burns each and every wooden slab to his liking. After the color is complete, Dinkel stencils on the stars. He then adds a memorial to the back of the flag.

“If an officer dies in the line of duty while doing a thin blue flag, that flag is built in their honor. If a firefighter dies in the line of duty while doing a thin red flag, that flag is built in their honor,” he said. “I think I can count on one hand the amount of flags that have left my garage without memorials.”

Dinkel said the memorials are a way for him to honor the men and women in uniform. He said he hopes the people who receive the flags will be reminded to pay homage to those who serve.

“I just simply do it because I enjoy doing it,” Dinkel said. “It seems like every time I get somebody who says ‘oh that looks really good,’ that makes it worth it.”

Dinkel said he started making the flags in 2017 after he went to buy one for himself and was shocked by how much they cost.

If you are interested in contacting Dinkel directly, click here.

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