By Brian Conlin, email@example.com
2:53 PM EDT, June 25, 2012
Lansdowne has its own Betsy Ross.
Elizabeth "Dixie" Yankulov has stitched two reinforced silk flags that will fly from poles at the intersections of Hammonds Ferry and Hollins Ferry roads and Lansdowne and Hollins Ferry roads.
The 73-year-old, who serves as the treasurer of the Lansdowne Improvement Association, put her sewing skills to work after the group discovered the expense of new custom flags, she said.
The identical flags say "Welcome to Lansdowne" on a blue field with a black train engine pulling a coal car and red caboose.
Yankulov has long been fascinated by trains, a fact that she attributes to her grandfather and father working for the railroad while living in Lansdowne.
"I'm proud of my community. I've lived here all my life, and I welcome anyone into my community who comes in with respect," Yankulov said.
One of the flags began flying at the intersection of Hammonds Ferry and Hollins Ferry roads on June 15.
Lansdowne Improvement Association president Gary Koloski could send the second flag up the pole at the intersection of Lansdowne and Hollins Ferry Roads as soon as June 23, she said.
First vice president of the Lansdowne Improvement Association Chris Koloski said Yankulov and her husband, John, paid for the materials and donated the flag to the association.
"I think it's just beautiful. Not just the flag but the intent behind it," Koloski said.
"It's just a wonderful thing to do," she said. "People go by, and it's an eye-catcher."
Yankulov's only previous experience making a flag came when she made a flag of Barney, the purple dinosaur that was a popular children's character, for her grandson, she said.
She said she has made things as complex as wedding gowns, though.
It took Yankulov about four or five hours to make the first flag, with most of that time coming from designing the train pattern, she said.
"I wanted more detail, but it was so time-consuming and not visible," Yankulov said of the train pattern.
The second flag took less time because she had saved the pattern of the train, she said.
"I feel good about it," Yankulov said of her creations. "I like to have something in our community that we can be proud of."