(The Texas Constitution bans giving away public property.)
After the flag was used in some of the New York ceremonies, Heisler has said, he kept it to remember 9-11 and as a symbol of honor. Two years later, he took it with him to Iraq.
Since then, the renamed U.S. Honor Flag has taken on a life of its own, flying special-delivery in the pilots' cabin to heroes' funerals and traveling in its own flag-wrapped truck on "Honor Tours."
It is handled with fresh gloves for each memorial and presented in a ceremony with a local band.
"As we speak, that flag is next to a fallen officer in Little Rock," he said.
"That family knows that same flag has flown for hundreds of police officers and firefighters all over the nation."
In 2009, Heisler and friends organized an Austin-based charity named the Honor Network to raise money for flag expenses. Heisler is both board president and chief executive of the charity, which he said has never raised more than $25,000 in a year.
"This is something that started in Texas," he said.
"We should be proud."
But his flag story is mostly windy.
Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538
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