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Flying big flag is tall order

Lynn Burton
Staff Writer

It takes a big pole to fly a 28-by-40 foot American flag.

In the case of the Rifle Fire Protection District’s 28-by-40 foot American flag, it takes an 80-foot pole, which comes attached to a $10,000 price tag.

Fire district volunteer Julie Lynch has established a fund and is taking donations for the pole, so the flag will be able to fly as it should.

“It’s a neat flag,” Lynch said. “I’d love to have it up.”

Lynch said an Aspen family gave the Rifle Fire Protection District the flag after it was put on display at Alpine Bank in the days after the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

She soon learned the flag required a specially engineered pole that can withstand winds of up to 150 mph.

The flag is made of a lightweight fabric, so high winds are not needed to get the flag to unfurl. “It doesn’t take much wind to get it flapping,” said Lynch, who has inspected other big flags in Grand Junction.

Beside the $10,000 needed for the pole, there is an ongoing expense. Lynch said the flag would have to be replaced every six to eight months, at a cost of $700 for each replacement.

The pole is planned for the district’s main fire station at 1850 Railroad Ave., and would serve as a memorial for the firefighters who died in the Sept. 11 attack.

If the district can’t raise the $10,000, it will be folded, placed in a triangular frame, and hung on the fire station wall, Lynch said.

When asked why she got involved with the flag pole fund-raising effort, Lynch chalked it up to basic patriotism.

“I’ve got a lot of American spirit … something should be done with the flag,” she said.

So far, the fire district has yet to receive its first donation for the pole.

People interested in contributing can send their contributions to the Rifle Fire Protection District, c/o the Flag Pole Fund, 1850 Railroad Ave., Rifle, CO 81650.


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