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Cool Things - Victory Banner

Victory banner

Ella Volkert crocheted this patriotic banner and flag to honor her son during World War II.

It is in small things that we often see the human spirit triumph over adversity. Ella  Volkert wanted to do something to honor her son, Otis Darrow, who was serving in the Army Medical Corps during World War II.

Because she was skilled in needlework, Volkert chose to crochet this American flag and victory banner. Victory banners usually were displayed in windows to indicate family members' war-time service. Volkert's banner  features one star, indicating her son was in the armed forces. Ella's second husband, William Volkert, was a carpenter and he made the frames for the flag and banner.

Although victory banners are common, Volkert's is exceptional because she had been blind since the age of 15.

Crocheted flagAfter graduating from the Kansas City School for the Blind in 1917, Volkert took teaching courses from Emporia State Teachers College and the Hadley Correspondence School in Illinois.

She later ran a gift shop from her home, taught other blind individuals, and gave needlework courses.

The flag and banner were given to the museum by Volkert's daughter-in-law, Bernice Shelton Darrow. They are in the collections of the Society's Kansas Museum of History.

Entry: Cool Things - Victory Banner

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: November 1999

Date Modified: December 2014

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.