Craig Rotary Club places 125 flags downtown for Flag Day
June 15, 2010
The two would wait until their father, Greg Roberts, climbed a ladder placed near a light pole on Yampa Avenue, retrieved the flag hanging from it, and then handed it to one of them.
Then, like clockwork, the two raced to the next light pole, while Greg followed shortly behind, ladder in hand.
"Whoever gets to the pole first, gets to carry the flag," 7-year-old Joel said.
And as soon as one of the two touched the pole, he would have bragging rights — at least until the next pole.
"I touched it first, I touched it first," Daniel, 8, said jumping up and down.
Daniel, Joel and Greg were just a few people who helped the Craig Rotary Club set up and take down 125 American flags along West Victory Way and Yampa Avenue on Monday.
The flags placed in Craig were in recognition of Flag Day, which celebrates the adoption of the red, white and blue, and stars and stripes as the nation's official flag.
The rotary club began placing flags around Craig for Flag Day about three years ago, club treasurer Randy Looper said.
The idea came from a project completed by a local Boy Scout for his Eagle Scout project, Looper said. A few years after the scout started the project, however, the idea fizzled for about three years until the rotary club revived it, he said.
The flag placing also doubles as a fundraiser for the club. Local businesses make an annual donation to keep the service alive, Looper said. Currently, about 105 people and businesses help fund the project.
Looper said the club places flags around Craig on seven other holidays including Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.
"It gives you a patriotic sense," Looper said. "… Particularly when the wind is blowing and they are all blowing, there is just nothing like that feeling of, 'Proud to be an American, proud of being in Craig.' It is just an amazing feeling."
Looper said the project also helps build community spirit.
"It's like the Whittle the Wood thing where people can say, 'Go to our park and look at all those neat carvings that we are going to have,'" he said. "This is, 'Come through our town on a holiday and look at all those cool flags all in a row, from one end of town to the other.'"
Len Browning, pastor of The Journey at First Baptist and rotary club member, called the event "a reminder."
"It's just a way to remind the community that we live in a free country and that men have given their lives to secure that freedom," he said.
Browning also said he hoped residents who saw the flags were reminded to "thank our veterans, remind people to vote, and encourage people to be patriotic."
The sight of seeing all of the flags line up along the streets was an "overwhelming" one, Browning said.
"It's become a great project, it doesn't take a long time," he said. "It builds camaraderie among our club and I think it is a great service to the community. We get lots and lots of comments from people who appreciate it."
Looper said he hopes to continue the tradition for as long as he can. He hopes the club can place flags on West Victory Way from the bridge at the east side of town to Walmart.
"The more we sell, the further we go," he said.