Saturday, September 22, 2001

Erlanger homes will get flags

City giveaway involves 6,000 households

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ERLANGER — The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks touched off a flurry of patriotic activities, the likes of which the United States hasn't seen in decades.

        The city of Erlanger plans to pass out free American flags to every household.

        The flag giveaway was the brainchild of Rick Bogard, Erlanger's superintendent of public works.

   • What: Distribution of free 11 by 18 inch American flags. Each plastic flag is mounted on a wooden stick for easy display.
   • When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday
   • Where: Fire trucks, police cruisers and other official city vehicles will drive down Erlanger streets, giving a flag to residents of every home and apartment.
   Flags also can be picked up at the city building from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday. Starting Tuesday, residents can pick up any leftover flags from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the city building, 505 Commonwealth Ave.
   • Information: (859) 727-7955
        “For the past few years, the city of Richmond has placed flags in people's yards to celebrate the Fourth of July,” said Mr. Bogard, a Richmond native whose parents still live in the central Kentucky city. “With what happened last week, I just thought this would be a good patriotic thing to do here in Erlanger. We need to celebrate our freedom and recognize our strength as a country year-round, not just on the Fourth of July.”

        From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, dozens of city employees in firetrucks, police cruisers and other official vehicles will distribute 11-by-18-inch American flags to each of the city's 6,000 households.

        “We're going to go up and down the streets, honking our horns to announce our arrival,” said Kathy Cahill, Erlanger's community development parks and recreation coordinator. “If you come to the curb, we'll give a flag. And if you have a neighbor who can't get out, we'll give you a flag for them, too.”

        When Mr. Bogard discussed a flag giveaway with his fellow municipal employees last week, they offered to help.

        Representatives of Erlanger's fire and police departments, as well as the city administration, offered personnel and vehicles to help with the flag distribution.

        Sherri Hoffman, a member of Erlanger's fire and EMS department, culled through city garbage collection records to determine how many flags were needed, and devised a distribution system following the boundaries of Erlanger's fire districts.

        Using about $2,000 in beautification funds, Erlanger officials ordered the flags last week from an Omaha, Neb., company that specializes in banners, crafts and holiday decorations.

        “With all the recent publicity about flag shortages, we were surprised to get them so quickly,” Mrs. Cahill said.

        Mr. Bogard thinks the intense interest in supporting those involved in America's latest conflict stems from its unusual nature.

        “Usually, it's military forces attacking other military forces,” he said. “But this time, the victims were just ordinary folks who got up and went to work for the day.”


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