Pawhuska flying its flag with pride

Saturday, November 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Here at home - it's a grand old flag - on a brand new pole. It's the centerpiece of Pawhuska's plans for Veterans Day.

A lot of people have dug through closets and pulled out flags to display their patriotism. In Pawhuska, city leaders knew they had a big flag in storage - and knew they had to fly it. There are flags in Pawhuska that fly high above the town - but there is one flag that now flies above all the others.

Its there, bathed in light, as a constant reminder of patriotism and civic pride. Blackie Ricketts, Pawhuska City Manager: "It has just changed our community tremendously." Pawhuska's flag is old - but no one is certain how old. It was given to the city second hand eight years ago. It's so large - 30 by 50 feet - that it was decided they had no pole large enough to hold it - so for most of the time- it sat in a storage room. David Keathly, Pawhuska Chamber: "I think it had been hung on a very large wall, like a gymnasium at one point.”

Folks in Pawhuska say the town has always had a patriotic streak, but there was never quite enough interest to get that giant flag out of storage, and fly it, until September 11th. Blackie Ricketts, "We were really unprepared to fly the flag and when the thing in New York took place, the tragedy there, at that time, we decided whatever it took, we're going to fly our flag."

Someone figured out a large utility pole could hold the flag - and a parking lot was quickly paved around it. The flag was lifted into place - and a spotlight installed - and a new burst of patriotism surfaced. David Keathly, "It's really sparked a lot of patriotism in the community and has really led to the events of what we're looking for on Veterans Day weekend."

That flag has sparked something in Pawhuska, and now they're looking for a taller pole from which to fly it. They figure they need a 120-foot pole to do it justice.