Meet the 99-year-old Army wife who rides Harleys and crochets American flags

A journey to the Masonic Home of Virginia will lead you to find one of the most enthusiastic, patriotic and well-dressed 99-year-old women you could ever meet.

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A photo of Ersell Brinser that hangs in the Masonic Home of Virginia.

Ersell Brinser met her future husband when she was 16 years old — and when his mother sat between the two of them on their first date. Still, they fell in love, marrying after courting for six years.

In 1939, Brinser’s husband was drafted into the war and she took a job on a Texas post counting ammunition. When the war ended, “The announcement came over the loudspeaker and we threw bullets up in the air!”

When her husband returned home, the two built their first home, raising two boys and living there for 40 years. After her husband died, Brinser moved into the Masonic Home, where she’s resided for the last 18 years and has found a new calling: crocheting American flags.

It was Brinser’s mother who taught her how to crochet, and after the 9/11 attacks, Brinser sat up watching the news, picked up her needles and ended up stitching together the stars and stripes. Some hang around the Masonic Home, but most of her work has been passed on to friends and family, some making it as far as North and South Carolina, West Virginia and even Mexico.

She’s been presented with awards for her crochet flag-making and received requests for flags and blankets. And she’s showing no signs of slowing down in other ways: her 99th birthday celebrations consisted of a ride on the back of a Harley, and she’s recently made arrangements for a helicopter ride on her 100th birthday.

Brinser shared with TheBlaze some of her daily tips to keeping a healthy lifestyle, the key to a strong relationship, fashion sense and more details about the story of her life. Check out her blog,

The key to strong relationships: church.

On fashion

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