What should you do when you have 847 wet American flags?

What should you do when you have 847 wet American flags?
That’s what happened Monday night after the Memorial Day Avenue of Flags display at Highland Park Cemetery.
“We put them up at 5 a.m. and it wasn’t raining then, but there was rain off and on during the day,” said David Purdy of the Avenue of Flags organization. “We have to fold them and put them back in the boxes until next year, but we can’t put them away wet.”
So they headed for the Fabric Care Center, which closed to the public early so the Avenue of Flags could use all the dryers in the Laundromat.
“We really appreciate the owner doing this for us,” Purdy said.
The flags weren’t dirty, he said, just wet, because they aren’t allowed to hit the ground.
“The name tags do get muddy, so we’ll wash them between now and next Memorial Day,” Purdy said.
Around 30 volunteers worked at stuffing flags into dryers, taking them out, folding and stacking them. Two of them, working as a team, were Elma Hurt and Michael Brewer.
“This is never-ending,” said Hurt as she pulled a flag from a dryer and checked it to see if it had any wet spots.
“If the flag gets tangled up in the dryer, it won’t dry well,” she explained.  “If there is a wet spot, it goes through the dryer again. These are going to be in a box for a year, and if they’re wet, there could be mildew or stains.”
Hurt said this was the fifth year she had volunteered for the Avenue of Flags.
“My husband, Bob, and I divide it up,” she said. “He gets up early to put the flags up, and I sleep later, then go help take them down.”
“We started this when our son, Jeff Scott, was a Webelo Scout,” said Michael Brewer. “Now he’s a U.S. Army officer serving in Korea. He called yesterday and said he wished he could be there helping with the flags at the cemetery. I was happy to see there were 40 or 50 Boy Scouts out there helping this year.”
Purdy said it takes about 1 hour, 45 minutes to put up the 800-plus flags, and about two hours to take them all down. The trip  to the Laundromat is an extra chore.
“This is the second time in three years that we’ve done this,” he said.
Despite the extra work, Hurt said there was an advantage in coming to the Fabric Care Center.
“It’s easier folding the flags in here than it is at the cemetery when the wind catches them,” she said.