New flags on shopping list

Winona Whitaker/Clinton HeraldKenny Shirley of the Downtown Clinton Alliance shows one of the tattered flags the organization wants to replace.

CLINTON — When Downtown Clinton Alliance and the Lyons Business and Professional Association took on the task of displaying American flags in downtown Clinton from Memorial Day through Veterans Day, they knew the flags wouldn’t last forever.

The flags had been flown by the city, but only on holidays, said Karen Rowell, director of Downtown Clinton Alliance. DCA and LBPA proposed leaving the flags up most of the year.

“We got together and thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have the flags up from Memorial Day through Veterans Day,” Rowell said.

“The City of Clinton was very kind in giving us those flags to put up,” Rowell said. “They had used them for several years. So we started the program knowing that eventually we’d have to replace the flags. They were not purchased to be year-long flags.”

The new flags will cost nearly $50 each, Rowell said.

“We know now that we need to find flags that don’t rotate and a little heavier weight,” she said.

When the wind wraps the flags around the poles, they look neglected, Rowell said. Poles that rotate keep the flags unfurled.

The organizations also want flags that are a little heavier. They plan to purchase from Regalia Flag Store in Rock Island, Illinois. “The ones we’re looking at are made in the U.S.A,” she said.

“We’ve had them up since Memorial Day,” Rowell said. “We knew we needed new flags when we realized we had quite a few that were worn or torn or not in good shape.”

DCA and LBPA will spend $2,000 and hope to receive donations in the same amount.

“We’ll replace as many as we have to,” she said. “We still have about 30 maybe that are good.”

“We had them on most of the streets downtown this year. We had 75 to 85 flags up,” Rowell said. “The goal would be probably to have that many for next year. With the flags and the rotating poles, they’re much more expensive.”

The Downtown Clinton Facebook page asks for $50 for each flag for as many as 100 flags, but Rowell said people can donate any amount.

“If they donate $10, if they donate $100, we’ll be happy,” she said.

DCA will pay for the lift and labor for putting the flags up and taking them down. That can cost $800 to $1,000, Rowell said.

Kenny Shirley of DCA helps put the flags up throughout the downtown area on Fifth Avenue, Second Street, on the dike, Fourth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.

“They’re getting pretty tattered,” he said, adding that the DCA doesn’t fly the flags that are in bad shape. “We’d like to have them on every pole.”

Donations may be sent to Downtown Clinton Alliance in care of Clinton National Bank, 635 Sixth Ave. South. Checks should be made out to Downtown Clinton Alliance; the memo line should note that the money is for downtown flags.