We’re not usually in favor of government spending on beautifying your town. After all, volunteer efforts can often do a better job — and some citizens of Irving, Texas, are proving just that.
According to KDFW-TV, a volunteer group in the Dallas suburb has gathered 40,000 American flags in order to ensure that every household in the city is showing love for Old Glory and America on this year’s Independence Day.
“Pretty much all of Irving will be properly decked out for the Fourth of July next week thanks to The Great Flag Caper,” KDFW-TV reported Friday.
“The celebration is marking its 25th anniversary. Around 300 volunteers will set out more than 40,000 flags every few feet in front of homes, businesses and places of worship.”
Nell Anne Hunt is the founder of The Great Flag Caper, a non-profit organization that started with just a few flags in 1993. It grew from there, according to a Dallas Morning News piece from 2013.
“So I bought 200 flags and went in a concentric circle around my house and put flags in everybody’s yards,” Hunt told the TV station. “Well, the next year everybody liked it so much I bought 400 flags so it went a little further.”
And it went further and further. “The neighbors came to me and said, ‘This looks so great. We want the whole neighborhood,’” Hunt told KDFW.
“And then before you know it the whole city said, ‘Count us in. We want to do it too.'”
And it’s not just Irving, anymore — parts of other towns are joining in, too.
In this divisive age, KDFW reported that the tradition of honoring the flag brings the area together: “The event attracts everyone — families, grandparents, people of all ages – and equally important, people of all political persuasions — Republicans, Democrats, Independents. The idea is to kind of come together and remember our common values.”
“We all want the same thing for our country and our families. We want safe neighborhoods and we want children to be educated properly and so we’re all alike under the flag. And so we come and celebrate that,” Hunt said.
The flags were distributed in three shifts starting Friday evening and finishing Saturday afternoon.
It’s an event that honors the flag, the country, the country’s Independence Day and its military members. It’s a sign of a bygone era — of Americans working together to make our community better.
Our hats are off to you, Irving.
At the risk of politicizing your mission, we’d like to say you’re making the Fourth of July great again.
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