Flynn’s younger daughter, Elizabeth, is a second-grade teacher in Falls Church. Raised a Boston Bruins fan like her dad, Elizabeth and her boyfriend were in a D.C. bar when the Capitals clinched their first title in June. Afterward, the couple joined thousands of other fans celebrating Washington’s Game 5 win in Las Vegas in the streets outside of Capital One Arena, and now she’s a full-on Capitals convert.
“She really got caught up in the fervor of it,” Flynn, who remains a Bruins fan but was rooting for Alex Ovechkin to win his first Stanley Cup, said in a phone interview from a D.C.-bound Acela train Wednesday morning. “When they won, she said, ‘Not to take anything for granted, but if you do make the Capitals’ Stanley Cup banner, buy some tickets and come down.' So, I’ve got a really good reason to go and watch the banner raising, and also spend some time with my daughter.”
New England Flag & Banner has been in business since 1892 and counts hundreds of pro teams, colleges and high schools as clients. Examples of the company’s handiwork, including banners commemorating division titles and retired numbers, hung in the rafters of Capital One Arena before Wednesday’s pregame ceremony. The company created the enormous Maryland flag that the student section unfurls at every Terps basketball game, in addition to permanent banners in arenas across the country. In 2014, Flynn, who purchased New England Flag & Banner in 2006, estimated his company had about 90 percent market share.
Flynn said the red, white and blue Stanley Cup banner that went up Wednesday took approximately 25 man-hours to make. It’s weighted down by a piece of electrical conduit inserted into a hidden sleeve pocket at the bottom and features a shiny penny, which is sewn behind the label of all of the company’s championship banners. Capitals fans might be happy to know that no such lucky charm hangs over the ice at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena, because Flynn’s company didn’t make the Penguins' Stanley Cup banners. (For more on the banner-making process, check out this video on the company’s site.)
“For me, personally, I know we have obviously nothing to do with the achievement itself, but to help people memorialize their achievements is really fun for me," Flynn said before the Capitals' 7-0 rout. "I like to go and just see how excited people get over the symbol that we make. It’s going to be up in the rafters for a long time.”
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