Panama City Beach, Florida — For veteran Florida firefighter Daryl Paul, the fire hose is a tool of his trade. But in his hands, old, discarded hoses become works of art.
"That's the one piece of equipment that's gonna go into the fire every time," he said.
Paul, who served as a first responder in the aftermath of , first started turning strips of hoses into stars and stripes in 2015. It was a simple firehouse decoration that caught on like wildfire.
Now, they are displayed all across the country, including the local burger joint where Paul takes his family. He's made more than 100 flags, many commissioned and each unique. One commemorates a firefighter's life, using a hose he once used.
"You get these tears in the hose, you get burn marks in the house," Paul said. "I love the character."
Character and a call to duty are attributes he feels everyone can get behind.
"In the country right now, there's a lot of divide. You got the left, you got the right. But really, that's the thing that unites us all. That's the banner we fly under," he said.