89-year-old veteran with a passion for the American flag

Robert Rowan has 23 years of service under his belt, now in retirement, he spends time selling and preserving American flags and flagpoles.
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 10:53 PM EST
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BRYAN, Ohio (WTVG) - Robert D. Rowan joined the Air Force in 1952. He went on to serve 4 years of active duty in the Korean war and many more in the reserves.

The Bryan, Ohio resident now works with the American Legion.

“I’ve been in the legion for 59 years, and I’ve gone through all the offices. I am currently a historian. I do the flag sales and public relations,” says Rowan.

His work selling flags and flagpoles with the legion started in 1975 when they got an idea to put 500 flags around Bryan to commemorate the bicentennial. Although they fell short of that goal by 100 flags, Rowan has continued the work ever since.

“I can’t drive past a flag without looking at it, and if it’s bad I’ll make a note of it. And I will either send them a card or I will call them or I will stop by and say ‘look up there’,” says Rowan.

Rowan’s son Robert Jr followed in his dad’s footsteps and joined the service. They say Veterans Day is a beloved holiday in the family.

“As you can tell I’m patriotic and I have a patriotic family, that is what I am trying to instill in the public. We have the greatest country in the world, let’s keep it that way,” says Rowan.

Now that Rowan is nearing 90-years he says it’s time to pass the baton. He ask anyone interested in continuing his work at the American Legion in Bryan to call 419-636-2885.

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