HORN LAKE, MS (abc24.com) - A young Mississippi girl's desire for her family to fly the stars and stripes has evolved into something much bigger.
Emily Waldon was only six-years-old when 9-11 happened. She asked her father to help make a flag pole to put in their front yard. She's now 17, and putting flag poles in yards all over Mississippi.
"After 9-11 that really struck home for me, even being a six year old," she says. "I wanted to do something to show patriotism.'
"It was our little father-daughter project," says her father, Bryan Waldon. "We built a flag pole and put it out in front yard. Well, our neighbor walks over and asks 'Where did you get that flag pole?'"
Turns out, others wanted one too. They started buying from the Waldons.
"We got bigger and bigger and better," her dad remembers.
11 years later they're still making the poles, and Emily has a thriving business on her hands.
"They're homemade so they're definitely better than the stuff you can buy at Wal-Mart," she tells abc24.com.
Her company is called Flagpole Express. She sells mainly to individuals, but has big name customers too. Emily and her dad made the three flag poles at DeSoto's Baptist Memorial hospital.
"She was the youngest member of the Horn Lake Chamber of Commerce," her dad says. "She's been very active with the business, handling accounts and sales plans."
As the company grows, she hasn't forgotten how it started.
"Just any way to show patriotism and support for all these veterans that have given their lives to protect us," Emily says.
"She understands the sacrifice people give for this country," adds her father. "I'm very proud of her."
Each flag pole costs a couple hundred dollars. Emily brings in several thousand dollars each year.
She heads to college next year, and is planning to study international business. She says she'll keep making and selling flag poles in whatever city she goes to school in.