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The Flag at the End of Town

Flag Looking Southwards along Highway 287

 

The American flag is one of the most recognizable flags in the world, and the red, white and blue at Brad Semmens’ Country Acres and RV Motel Park stands out along Highway 287 as you enter or leave the southern section of Lamar.

It’s big. There’s no denying that.  “It measures 25 by 45 feet and weighs about 30 pounds,” explained Semmens recently, adding that each of the stripes are about two feet wide.  He said he purchased the flag off the internet and he’s gotten a lot of comments from local residents and motorists passing through.  Even a golfer or two.

“We’ve had people comment that are staying at the Park or they just pull in and ask about it. We’ve gotten phone calls and letters and some emails and texts from people who have seen it and just about every one of them has said ‘thanks’ for having the flag displayed.  One golfer called to say he uses the flag when he’s lining up a shot on a particular hole at Spreading Antlers Golf Course.”  Semmens said another general comment is, it’s important to have the flag on display for the country, perhaps now, more than in any recent times.

It looks good when it’s blowing in the breeze, but residents know that breeze can turn into a gale at the drop of a hat. “It’s a handful when it’s full of wind,” Semmens explained, “and it usually takes at least three people to handle.  One thing we never want to do is have the flag touch the ground, so one person is usually handling the steel cable that raises and lowers it, and the others hold and fold the flag when it’s coming down.”  Brad said it’s a storm flag which is allowed to fly at night so long as it is illuminated.  That’s a rule of flag etiquette he follows, adding, “We don’t usually bring it down, but we make sure we do when it’s calm.”

He used to have two flags and rotated them to avoid wear and tear, although they weren’t as big as this one. Semmens said the pole is 75 feet tall and it’s anchored in five yards of concrete that runs about six feet into the ground.  He said it’s covered by insurance and although he wasn’t specific about the price tag, he said it’s somewhere just over $1,000.  Beyond the cost, he wants to see the flag continue to mark Lamar’s spot along the highway for travelers and residents alike and hopes it continues to wave for a long time.

By Russ Baldwin

 

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