GREAT FALLS — Early Sunday morning, members of the American Legion Post 3 came to downtown Great Falls to hang American flags along Central Avenue. Members met at 7 a.m. to begin decorating the street light poles on both sides of Central Avenue from the Civic Center to 7th Street. They will return at 4 p.m. to take the flags down, and return them to storage.
In total, 44 flags hang on the light poles that aren’t used for other purposes, like speakers and ‘Welcome to Great Falls’ banners.
David Driver, a National Executive Committee Member of the American Legion, expressed his gratitude to the City and Downtown Great Falls Association: “I want to thank the Downtown folks for making sure these flag poles are clear, that we can put them up. I know they have to go through taking down ‘Welcome to Great Falls’ banners and things, so we appreciate that.”
After receiving a grant from Walmart, the American Legion Post 3 was able to get new American flags that will be hung in downtown Great Falls for patriotic holidays for years to come.
Due to a lack of space to dry the flags however, the American Legion Post 3 monitors the weather each holiday, and can’t hang the flags if there’s any chance for rain or snow. "Well, rainy days we can’t do it because we have a tough time getting the flags dry afterwards,” explained Barney Cooper, Commander for American Legion Post 3.
The American Legion Post 3 has been responsible for hanging the American Flags along the parade route on Central Avenue for decades.
Some members have come to hang these flags every year, and say it’s an honor to do so.
“It’s a privilege to come out on the 4th of July and put them up to recognize all of the soldiers and the ones that didn’t come back,” said Commander for the Sons of American Legion Post, William O’Donnell.
For 102 years, the American Legion has focused on providing service to veterans, service members, and communities across the nation. Click here to visit the website.