Temple Terrace firefighters honor America by making flags out of old fire hoses

"Each hose has a story."

RIVERVIEW, Fla. --  Move over, Betsy Ross! 

Two Temple Terrace firefighters are making a name for themselves in the folk art world by making American flags out of old retired fire hoses.

David Burton started a couple years ago after seeing someone else do the unique flag design. He became so good at making the art, donating pieces to charities, designing flags for firehouses, and selling flags at craft fairs that he brought on fellow firefighter Andy Muzzy to help him.

“We basically deconstruct the hose,” says Muzzy, working on a flag in the duo’s Riverview workshop. “We use the outer liner (of the hose) and we dye it, and the inner liner we use for the white stripes.”

The men rely on donated hoses, the more weathered the better. Although they are buying some hoses to keep up with demand. Despite the unorthodox material Burton says they follow traditional rules of Old Glory.

“We make them like a true flag,” he says. “The first stripe (at the top) is always red. The first long stripe is always white. There will be 50 stars on each.”

One of their largest flags hangs majestically in a corridor of the Hillsborough Fire Rescue headquarters.

To see an assortment of Burton and Muzzy's work, visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/firehousedesigns181/

“Each hose has a story,” says Burton. “They have character to them.”

The flag-making firefighters have several craft show appearances coming up, including at the Valrico Sunday Market on February 18 and the Fancy Flea Home & Garden Market in Plant City in April 27-28.

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