WCCO, a Minneapolis, Minn., television station, wanted to recognize members of the military in a way that would be memorable and make a difference. So it launched “More Than Names,” WCCO’s Accomplish Minnesota campaign project to collect signatures thanking veterans for their service. The names were signed on panels that were sewn together to create a gigantic banner.
The goal was to collect enough names to break the world record for signatures on a flag. WCCO launched the campaign at the popular Minnesota State Fair, which saw more than 1.7 million attendees in 2015. People could also sign their names and leave messages online and at other venues across the state. At the same time, WCCO collected donations for Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund, a military support organization providing grants to Minnesota service men, women and their families.
WCCO collected 120,288 signatures and messages on 322 panels, qualifying for the Guinness World Records. The station partnered with Minneapolis-based Banner Creations to make the flag. Banner Creations pieced the panels together, carefully measuring, cutting and double-stitching for strength. Assembled, the flag measured 77 feet wide and 103 feet long. Weighing in at 500 pounds, the flag took over 500 hours of sewing to put together.
The massive banner was presented on the ice at a Minnesota Wild hockey game on November 10, 2015, the day before Veterans Day. It was then displayed at Minnesota’s official Veterans Day program on November 11. Following the events, the banner was deconstructed and donated to veterans facilities across the U.S.