Flag group has big plans for 'old glory' at borough park

April 01, 2002|BY STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Members of the Franklin County Flag Association expect to have a giant American flag waving atop a 150-foot pole in Memorial Park by Memorial Day after nearly two years of fund-raising.

"We put the project aside for a little while, but we're certainly going forward full-speed-ahead now," said Tracy Baer, president of the flag association. "We probably have half the funds we need to go forward with purchasing the pole."

Last week the Chambersburg Borough Council unanimously approved a 20-year lease with the group to place a 150-foot flagpole just north of the park pavilion near Interstate 81.


Baer said he is shooting for a Memorial Day dedication of the 60-by-30-foot flag.

Through donations from county businesses and residents, the group has raised half of the $50,000 it needs to cover the costs of the pole and its future care, Baer said.

Borough Manager Eric Oyer said the flag association will be responsible for its upkeep and repair, but the borough will help out with mowing grass around the flagpole and relocating an electric wire.

It is a goal of the National Flag Foundation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, to put one flag pole in every county in the state, Baer said. The Franklin County group is a chapter of the national organization.

He said other counties have erected 120-foot poles, but he believes Franklin County will be the first in the state to put up a 150-foot pole.

A plaque recognizing donors will be placed by the flag, and Baer said he hopes a small educational display will draw school students.

The flag will be illuminated and fly continuously. It will likely be taken down in bad weather to preserve its life span, Baer said.

It will likely take 10 people to take down the flag, Borough Solicitor Tom Finucane said.

Because it is a countywide project, Baer said his first thought was to install the pole on county land off Franklin Farm Lane, which would be visible from Interstate 81. In the meantime, the borough agreed to place it in Memorial Park, where there are already sidewalks and electricity for the association to tie into.

"It is a public place where everyone can go and is centrally located in the county," Baer said.

He said it will also make a wonderful backdrop for holiday fireworks in the park.

Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to support the flag project can send a check payable to the Franklin County Flag Association to: First National Bank of Greencastle, c/o Jeff Shank, treasurer, 40 Center Square, Greencastle, PA 17225.

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