Rob Denning photo
Boy Scouts from Troop 398 in The Dalles care for flags that will be put up early Monday morning to commemorate Presidents Day. The troop is asking community members to sponsor 250 more flags.
As of Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Boy Scout Troop 398 wants to unfurl more flags during holidays and is asking community members to help fund that endeavor.
The Dalles-based group hits the streets about 6 a.m. every holiday to place about 200 flags along Second, Third, Fourth and Sixth streets. Their goal is to more than double that number to add red, white and blue to more celebrations and observances.
“We need a minimum of 250 more flags to really get the job done,” said Anthony Pereira, scout master. “We especially need more flags along Sixth Street.”
He said adding flags to the lineup has been difficult given that 10 were stolen last year, 17 had to be repaired and four were so frayed they needed to be retired, a process done in an official ceremony.
“People like it when they are out, but they have no idea now difficult it can be to keep it going,” he said.
Annual sponsorship of the flags is $40, but Rob Denning, scout leader, said anything will help.
This year, Troop 398 is offering people the opportunity to sponsor a flag for $100 that will have a sticker attached to the pole naming someone they want to remember, such as a family member who served in the military.
Pereira is also seeking a seamstress who would be willing to donate time toward repairing the flags. Despite the fact they are made of high-quality cloth, he said the wind eventually begins to unravel the threads.
Recently, the scouts washed and dried flags with great care to get them ready for President’s Day, Feb. 19.
Denning said the flags are handled with respect and are not flown if they are not in good shape. The flags have been planted by the Boy Scouts since the 1950s. The late Gary Honald, a local orchardist and businessman, was a big supporter of the program, facilitating the donation of 50 flags and even taking one loop of the route to set them up himself.
In 2014, the baton was passed from Boy Scout Troop 352 chartered by the Church of Latter-day Saints to Troop 398, chartered by St. Peter Catholic Church. Pereira said about 12 scouts and leaders divide into two teams to get the flags up early on a holiday and then take them down that evening. Business owners are asked to keep those in front of their establishment standing. “We want them waving loud and proud,” said Denning. People wanting to contribute to flag funding can send checks to Boy Scout Troop 398, 1520 E. 18th St., The Dalles, Ore. 97058.