A special ‘Old Glory’ flies in the Osage

Kathryn SwanJ-C Correspondent

A year ago this month the Journal Capital published an article about Barbara Cheves’ patriotism and love of flags. Barbara passed away June 11, 2014, following extensive complications from diabetes. The family created a forever tribute to Barbara by erecting a flag pole in the center of the family’s hay meadow, located approximately six miles southwest of Pawhuska.

Some passersby have commented that seeing that flag pole as they come into Pawhuska from the west is like seeing the beacon from a light house. Brent Swan commented, “Old Glory flanks both the east and west entrances to Pawhuska which is not only impressive but definitely reflects our community’s patriotism.”

Jack Cheves said, “Wind on the prairie blows virtually nonstop. When I purchased Barbara’s original flag, I was offered one free repair. After being up for nearly a year, it needed some repairs. I was at church one Sunday and the subject came up about a replacement flag. That’s when I had an offer from Brendon Swan that I could not refuse.”

Brenden Swan, son of Brent and Katie Swan and grandson of L.C. and Clara Smith, recently completed a four-year tour of duty in Afghanistan where he served as a Fire Direction Controlman. He was discharged just in time for Christmas last December and surprised his family with a rather unique Christmas gift – flags that had actually flown over his unit in Afghanistan. Brent Swan said, “I do not know how often the flags are changed at Camp Dwyer but my family is honored to have such an important part of history that reflects Brenden’s service to our Country.”

When Brenden learned that Cheves was taking Barbara’s flag down for repair, he asked if Jack would consider flying one of his flags from Afghanistan. The only stipulation was that it be returned to the Swan family when it was retired. Brenden’s one concern was that his flag was much smaller than the one currently being used.

Jack Cheves was elated and said, “I believe Barbara would be delighted knowing that the flag honoring her had flown on foreign soil for one of Osage County’s own and that it is now flying over her beloved hay meadow.”

Brenden is a student at Oklahoma State University where he is working towards a Mechanical Engineering degree.