American flag on the Moon has local ties

A giant leap into history

When Rhodhiss Mayor Rick Justice tells people where he's from, most often people ask just where that is. The tiny Burke County town is home to just over 1,000 people. While their population isn't remarkable, their bragging rights are.

The American flag taken to the moon and permanently placed there by the Apollo 11 crew, was born in Rhodhiss. The fabric that made up the flag was woven at the old Burlington Mills. While the mill closed down in the early 80's, several employees still remember being a part of the crew that made history.

"How many small towns as small as this have something that everybody knows about?" said Lennis Scott, who worked a machine called a warper in the old mill.

The mill created the fabric and shipped it out on huge rolls. No one knew at the time, the nylon fabric was to be used to make the American flag for the first moon landing.

"It took a while to sink in you know, that we had a hand in something like that," said Carl Compton who fixed the machines in the mill.

The town of Rhodhiss is made up of a little more than 1,000 people.

But what this town doesn't deliver in population, Mayor Rick Justice says, it makes up for with pride.

"We wove the moon flag. That's where that flag on the moon came from."

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