Flag Day Committee waves on for 42nd year

(Michael Flippo)

Porterville Flag Day Committee prepares for National Flag Day celebration, city council aids community effort, pays outstanding balance for flag pole restoration

PORTERVILLE – The city of Porterville was able to assist the Flag Day Committee by paying an outstanding balance for repairs to the flag pole as they gear up for this year’s annual Flag Day Celebration.

On June 14th the Porterville Flag Committee will be hosting the 42nd annual Flag Day Celebration. The celebration will begin Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Grocery Outlet on 50 West Olive Avenue. The annual recognition of National Flag Day has been a tradition in the Porterville community, marked by a ceremony with the lowering of the previous year’s American flag and the raising of a new flag on. This year, the city of Porterville was able to help the committee by paying for repairs done to the flagpole in order to keep the tradition going.

“The city council wanted to support this event due to the importance of having the flag displayed and approved the payment for the invoice so that the Committee is able to use the donated funds they have received to plan for future Flag Day celebrations,” a press release from the city of Porterville stated.

The theme of the event is “Welcome Home Veterans” and Mike Boudreaux will be this year’s guest speaker at the event. Groups like the American Legion, the police and fire departments will also be in attendance to help with the raising of the flag.

This Flag Day tradition was started back in 1982 by the Smith family whose store, Smith’s Market, was the anchor of the retail center. Today the tradition is continued by the Flag Day Committee, which is composed of community volunteers and service clubs, wanting to honor and keep this patriotic tradition going.

As the event has been going on for over 40 years, the large flag pole has received some wear and tear. A few years ago in 2021, the rigging for the flag pole broke. Despite the damage, the city of Porterville staff was able to remove the flag and the committee was able to get the pole repaired by a local contractor Elevated Energy and Construction. The company donated the labor for the repair, but not the parts. With an outstanding invoice for the parts for the repair, the Flag Day Committee sought the help of the city council.

On June 6, the Porterville City Council agreed to pay an invoice from Elevated Energy and Construction for a new motor for the flagpole. The invoice was for an amount over $2,000. This would ensure the annual Flag Day Ceremony continues. While the city does not own the flag pole or the property where it is located, the press release from the city stated the council recognized the symbol that the flag represents. And the importance of continuing the annual ceremony, which has been a long-standing civic event.

The Flag Day Committee is made up of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 20, American Legion, Post 20 City of Porterville, Eagle Mountain Casino, Grocery Outlet, Old Glory Club, Porterville Area Coordinating Council, Porterville Chamber, Porterville Elks Lodge, BPOE 1342, Porterville Emblem Club #82, Porterville Exchange Club, Porterville Fire Department, Porterville Self Worth (PSW) Copy Center and Save Mart.

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