The Village of South Jacksonville hopes the spring weather will calm enough in the coming weeks so the giant American Flag can be addressed.
Village President Dick Samples acknowledged during the April Trustee meeting Thursday night, that the Village Hall receives phone calls on almost a daily basis about the village flag that flies at the interchange of Interstate 72 and US 267 has been frayed for some time now.
The flag has begun to separate at the end of the seams connecting each stripe. Samples says that the Village is aware of the issue and had planned for the need to replace the flag as it becomes worn, however, Mother Nature has not been helpful in the plan so far this year.
“We bought two flags with the idea that when one needed repairs we would take it down and repair it and put the other one up as a spare. So we didn’t ever want to the period of time with no flag up because you have the flag pole.
But like I said tonight, you just don’t grab hold of this thing and want to take it down. Even as bad as you want to, you have to have a dead calm day because it will lift you right off the ground. Thirty by fifty [feet] is how big that flag is and you’ve got a handful with it. We know that it needs to be taken down and repaired but the weather hasn’t cooperated with us to get it down. I’ve never seen the flag just droop down straight.”
The flag was first raised during a dedication ceremony on September 11th of last year and Samples says it has already been replaced once in that time. “This flag is in worse condition than the last one when we take it down and send it off. This is the second flag up and we’re getting ready to put the repaired original one back up.”
Samples says the first flag raised required $347.00 worth of repairs. The flags were purchased from a company in St. Louis that makes and repairs them. It’s estimated that the flag will need to be changed out an average of once every three months for repairs.
The 30 foot by 60-foot flags and the 120-foot tall flag pole were purchased last summer during the Manker administration. The project cost approximately $40,000 and was paid for with tourism funds, which will also cover the cost of flag repairs when needed.