12-year-old Moline boy making it his mission to replace tattered American flags for free

MOLINE-- When you drive past Old Glory, how often do you notice her? 12-year-old Liam Willcox notices every time.

On Wednesday Liam visits the Moline VFW Veterans of Foreign Wars post to take 18 new pristine flags with him. They're part of a donation to his new start up called the Flag Restoration Project.

Liam learned about proper flag etiquette in school.

"Then everything just happened. I saw a bunch of ripped up flags, and it wasn't right," says Liam.

The seventh grader uses the flags donated to him to replace others that are old.

"Having a destroyed flag is not acceptable. And for the labor that it takes to get up and do one, it's definitely worth it," says Liam.

Fixing flags means a lot to him. but it might mean even more to the ones who served.

"You're going to make some of the oldest veterans in this town a bunch of very happy people. They're the ones that fought for it, and they're going to appreciate the fact a 13-year-old kid is paying attention," says VFW Commander Richard Head.

So far Liam has replaced six flags around town, but he has a much bigger goal.

"I hope it turns into where I can just say oh, there's a flag. Let's pull over and have enough so I can just do that every time, pull over and replace it," says Liam.

Liam wrote letters to local businesses and veterans groups to collect donations to make his mission possible.

So the next time you pass the flag waving proudly, maybe you'll stop and notice. But even if you don't, odds are there's a little boy who already has.

If you or anyone you know has a flag that needs to be replaced, Liam says to message him on Facebook here.