MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO’s Accomplish Minnesota campaign to thank our military veterans is just days from its public unveiling.

The “More than Names” flag is now being assembled into a massive banner of support.

For the past few months, you’ve helped us gather a record-breaking collection of signatures thanking all veterans for their service to country. That work is about to pay off in a big way.

In a northeast Minneapolis banner shop, a wondrous story is coming together. Soon to shower our veterans with a sea of thanks.

“It’s sewing 322 panels together, it’s heavy. When it’s done it’s going to weigh 500 pounds,” Nora Norby with Banner Creations said.

Norby and the gang at Banner Creations is pulling a month’s-long “More than Names” campaign into its final form.

It’s lead sewer Nancy Fetzak’s job to piece together all those panels. They’re carefully measured, cut and double-stitched for strength into a massive fabric mosaic.

“It might be the largest banner we’ve made,” Fetzak said.

For the past few months, Accomplish Minnesota has gathered signatures from community outings to the Minnesota State Fair. More than 122,000 names and deeply felt messages.

“But the personalization is what makes the flag what it is,” Norby said.

When all of these name panels are sewn into place and the flag is fully assembled, it will be big. About 77 feet wide, 103 feet long. That’s covering roughly half of the Xcel Energy Center’s ice sheet.

Soon it will be folded, rolled and packed on a pallet to be revealed in a large and very unified symbol of support.

“It’s just heartfelt and so to be a part of something where people take their signatures so personally and feel so heartfelt, it’s a big deal,” Norby said.

We’ll get our first peak at the “More Than Names” flag when it’s unfurled at Tuesday night’s Minnesota Wild game at Xcel Energy Center.

Then, the flag will be on display at the state’s Veteran’s Day ceremony next Wednesday at the Inver Grove Heights Armory.

Bill Hudson

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