Coffee Shop Owner Builds Scarecrow Iwo Jima Flag-Raising Tableau for Festive Tribute to Military

By Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.
October 23, 2021 Updated: October 26, 2021

A coffee shop owner-operator in Georgia has been setting up scarecrows outside her establishment for a number of years—not to frighten off birds, but for a festive contest to raise community spirit.

Kristy Foreman, 42, who runs Elliano’s Coffee in Waycross, won that event—SwampTown Scarecrows—in 2015, with her scarecrow display depicting the Last Supper. Then, her creative endeavors were put on hold because of the pandemic.

But this year, she’s started again—with a patriotic theme in mind.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kristy King Foreman)

“I wanted to do something patriotic; no matter how it turned out, that was just on my heart; I just felt like we needed something positive,” Kristy told The Epoch Times. “And because I am grateful to be in the situation I’m in.

“I have a great business, and I’m so grateful.”

Kristy’s business of 15 years has been busy lately, and she hoped to give back by expressing her love for what made that possible.

With a picture of what she wanted etched in her mind for years, the business owner envisioned the famous statue of Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima during World War II.

This year, she made it happen.

Enlisting the help of her dad, a handy fella (who knows welding), her mom (a creative genius), and 8-year-old daughter (who helped grandpa), plus helpful friends and employees, they set to work in her dad’s shop.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kristy King Foreman)

A rebar structure made it strong and held the scarecrows in the poses Kristy envisioned; with thrift store clothes and boots and household trinkets, all spray-painted brown, they became soldiers complete with guns and grenades.

Researching the historic flag-raising moment and old photos, positions were perfected.

“I just wanted that flag,” Kristy said. “Of course, I had no idea how we would make scarecrows stand up and look like I wanted them to.

“Even if we had the shadiest-looking little scarecrows, if we positioned them on a flagpole, people would kind of get what we were trying to portray.”

The night before the scarecrow display’s debut on Oct. 1, they assembled everything outside Elliano’s and thought it looked great; but Kristy was tired and wasn’t sure how it would look in the day.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kristy King Foreman)

“The next morning, I got up really early … the sun had just started coming up and was shining up onto my scarecrow display,” she said. “And I just started crying sitting in my car at the red light.

“Every morning, I see it and I literally almost tear up again, like it’s so moving.”

An official winner of SwampTown Scarecrows won’t be declared until later this month, but customers are already showing their appreciation.

“The way people have reacted has been the best part of having that scarecrow sitting in front of my building,” Kristy said.

“My parents are not vets, but so many of my family are,” she added. “I just think about how many opportunities I’ve had … and we just absolutely would not have the freedoms that we have if it wasn’t for the service people who have sacrificed so much.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kristy King Foreman)

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Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.