Schroeder creates fire-hose flag for Redfield Fire Department
By Shiloh Appel
The Redfield Fire Department building has a new American flag gracing it’s wall. It’s not your every-day flag, however, but a 5ft. By 9ft. rectangle of fire hoses weighing nearly 100 pounds.
Stefan Schroeder, a volunteer firefighter on Redfield’s city and rural fire departments, recently made the vintage-looking work of art from decommissioned fire hoses formerly used by the Redfield Fire Department. He said that it took one and a half hoses, both of them two and a half inches wide, to complete the piece.
“We were doing some renovating in here. Painted the walls. Getting a new kitchen. And we put new flooring in. We scrubbed all the walls, so we’ve been finding old stuff - the old flags, the ladders, the hooks. So I figured maybe we could put something new, yet old looking in here,” said Schroeder. “I had seen some other people do the same thing, and it worked out with that wide of a hose.”
Schroeder said he dyed the hose with wood stain to get the red stripes and blue background for the stars. It took approximately a half gallon of wood stain to produce the desired look. He also cut each of the 50 stars out by hand and used glue and brad nails to fasten the hose to a plywood backing.
“The edges are just pine, but they have been burnt with a torch to give it that old rustic kind of look,” said Schroeder.
To hang the flag on the wall, it took three men. Schroeder said they used a wood cleat to keep it in place.
“If you take a 2 by 6 and you rip it at a 45 degree angle right down the middle, and you take both pieces and you turn them around, then they kind of lock together. So this lip is sticking out on the wall and this lip is sticking out on the flag, so all you have to do is go up and ‘click’,” said Schroeder.
According to Schroeder, the fire hose itself weighs approximately 50-60 pounds and the plywood backing is another 30-40 pounds.
“The next person who will take that down better know that it is super heavy, because if they don’t, they will get a surprise,” said Schroeder.
However, the hope is that the flag is there to stay for many decades to come. A general consensus among firefighters is that Schroeder did a “fantastic job.”