FLANNEGAN WESTERN SCULPTURE REPRESENTS “THE WORLD FAMILY”
The sculpture, which stands 35 feet tall and covers 7600 square feet, was started to represent the
owner’s representation of the company’s mission statement, named ‘The Family.”  In light of the horrific
events of September 11, 2001, Mike Flannegan (President and founder of Flannegan Western)
broadens the intended message of the sculpture.  The sculpture was re-named “The World Family,”
dedicated to all who died that September morning, and their friends and families.
The original sculpture incorporated rocks from
across the United States, precious metals and
steel in its representation of many facets of the
organization.  Two tall columns, constructed of
stainless steel, one-eighth-inch sheets of copper,
brick and mortar will be added to symbolize the
fallen twin towers of the World Trade Center.  
Broken concrete, bent and twisted I-beams and re-
bar will surround the base to represent the search
and rescue efforts at “Ground Zero.”  A large rock,
transported from New York, will be placed at the
base to further signify the events.  Seven stainless
steel figures support the large re-bar globe and
may be interpreted in many ways, but Flannegan
sees them as representing the spiritual and world
communities, family and friends, customers,
employees and vendors.  Flannegan is hopeful
that people can identify, through the sculpture, a
new and emerging world in which people and
nations will begin to work together to create a
closer, kinder and more caring world.
Mission Statement
The mission statement of Flannegan Western evolved into a sculpture at its headquarters, located on
Highway 18, east of Emmetsburg, IA.  Michael Flannegan began wondering just how much a person can
get out of words and the sculpture began taking form in his mind.  With the influence of family and
friends, drawings began to take shape.

“This sculpture’s design is representative of family and friends, with assistance from artist Louise
(Bronkharst) Kierscht” said Flannegan.
The seven stainless steel figures represent seven
areas in Flannegan Western’s Mission statement:
spiritual family, personal family, friends, employees,
customers, vendors, and the world community.  
There are two levels of figures, pointing out that not
everyone gives 100- percent.  The four Austrian
pine trees represent caring, responsibility,
accountability and relationships.  And the last four
large stones represent Flannegan Western’s first
customers, which were Van Buren and Adair
Counties, the first out-of-state customer from
Laramie, Wyoming., and the first fleet customer in
Missouri.  The continents on the globe are made of
copper.
“Everything has a meaning,” said Flannegan.  “It’s
all symbolic.”  To begin the process, Mike worked
with Louise Marie Bronkharst from Sweden who
was studying in the United States and doing
freelance art work.  They worked together to
transform words to visual; ensuring that purpose,
meaning and intent were all there.  As the project
began to take form, Flannegan sought input from
family, employees and friends.

‘This actually began on a much smaller scale and
got larger,” said Flannegan.  “Now it’s bigger than
a mission statement.”  He added, “This has a lot of
meaning to me.  It’s real personal and I take pride
in the people that helped me.”
Flannegan is proud to have his company located in
Emmetsburg, his hometown.  “I’m proud of the fact
that I’m in Emmetsburg and built a company that is
accepted nationwide.  This community has a lot to
offer,” he says.  “I have 14-16 people here and
they are very special people.  I sell to the world
and I compete in the nation with the big guys.  But
when I talk about caring, that has to include our co-
workers, friends and acquaintances, our customers
and our vendors.  They are all represented in the
sculpture.”

Competing in a global economy, Flannegan says
his company has to be more than just the guy on
the street selling to the people.  “We stand alone in
our product line,” Flannegan says.  “Even with
today’s economy, something keeps us going.  We’
re still moving ahead.”
Flannegan Western Company’s top sellers are the
Sign Shop on Wheels and the Orbiter loader
system.  “We strive to be not front and keep this
company going.” Flannegan Stated.  “I’ve been
supported my whole life by friends, relatives and
acquaintances.  We keep hanging on and now I
want to give something back.  If nothing else, when
people drive by I hope they see something in the
sculpture that makes them feel good.”

When the sculpture began t be built, Flannegan
had varied reactions from young and old.  His two
grandsons looked at the creation and one saw
monkey bars and the other, thinking of his religion
lessons, saw Peter.
“This is what you perceive it to be,” Flannegan says with a smile.  “It’s an appreciation for art.”  That
appreciation is observed daily as travelers stop to photograph and video the sculpture, which is taking
form next to the offices of Flannegan Western Company in Emmetsburg.

“I want people to feel positive when they look at it,” said Flannegan.  “No matter what they perceive, I
hope there is something there that makes them happy, whether it be the flowers, the stones or the
overall sculpture.”
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