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Joe ‘The Flag Man’ Malinowski passes on his patriotism

By Reece Murphy

INDIAN LAND – Joe Malinowski is doing his part to make Independence Day  as red, white and blue as possible.

Known as “The Flag Man” back home in Austintown, Ohio, the 79-year-old retired Marine and Vietnam veteran believes everyone should have a flag on July 4.

That’s why you’ll see him sitting at the end of his Pine Bluff Way driveway in the Legacy Park subdivision in Indian Land handing out free flags to any passing motorist who wants one. 

Many of the flags have special meaning, too – they’ve flown on the graves of veterans who paid their dues.

“They can put them in their yards, or on a veteran’s grave,” Malinowski said. “The important thing is they respect the memory of our military men and women who gave the supreme sacrifice to our country.”

Malinowski, a former volunteer leader of Boy Scout Troop 275 at Belair United Methodist Church, said what he’d like to see most of all is for church groups to make a project of placing flags on the graves of soldiers buried in private cemeteries, since they’re often forgotten on patriotic holidays.

“I believe these gentlemen and ladies who are buried in these cemeteries are entitled to it,” Malinowski said. “They have it coming to them for serving their country.

“I hope someday, when I’m gone, that folks will put a flag on my grave and remember that I was a veteran,” he said.

For details on how you or your group can get free flags to place on veterans’ graves, call Malinowski at (803) 396-0156.

 

 Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151