Emblem Club member Dani Wing is raising money for American flags to line the streets of Medford on patriotic holidays. pennell photo - Bob Pennell

Medford rallies around the flag

Social service organizations disappointed by the lack of American flags flying in Medford on Independence Day are rallying to make sure Old Glory flies again.

The Emblem Club, the Medford Kiwanis and American Legion have volunteered to put flags up for future holidays.

Dani Wing, who will head up the Emblem Club's efforts, hypothesized that many people thought someone else would fly flags on the Fourth of July.

"Now we're going to do it," she said.

The city of Medford does not have money in its budget to purchase flags. Similar to other cities, service groups must organize large- scale Independence Day decorations.

In Eagle Point, a volunteer group collects flags donated by families of veterans (see correction note below) and flies them for the Fourth of July.

The Kiwanis club of Ashland makes certain that flags wave each year in time for the parade. Medford, as of late, has been without.

Coldwell Banker ProWest used to be at 1150 Crater Lake Ave. At the time the real estate group put up about 700 flags along Crater Lake Avenue and a short span of McAndrews Road.

Since the company's move to 1301 Poplar Drive, the office has downsized the decorations to the building where it's now located.

The city will not name an official committee or organization but would like to be involved, said Heidi Hill, a city executive assistant.

"A group that takes this on is going to have to organize when the flags go up and when they go down," Hill said. "It's going to have to be done in a timely manner. The city is willing to provide assistance and meeting space."

Some of the difficulties involved in displaying flags during holidays include: purchasing flags for use, finding a place to store them and finding the manpower to put them up and take them down.

Wing said she hopes some of the local military organizations will get involved in the patriotic efforts.

"Storage will be difficult to find," Wing said, and "finding the necessary help to put the flags up."

Kiwanis President Gary Gysel said he has three ideas for raising the money to purchase the flags.

Gysel suggested some type of fund-raiser, using money from the Kiwanis foundation or asking merchants to pay for the flags displayed in front of their stores.

Regular meetings could be scheduled so the groups can determine the best way to approach the project.

In areas that are not lit, Gysel said the tradition of taking flags down at night will be honored.

"We respect the flag, so we would follow the rules," Gysel said.

Wing added that she thinks the city should be decorated as a symbol of its patriotism.

"It's just a community desire to have what looks good in Medford," she said.

Reach news intern Bob Albrecht at 776-8791 or e-mail

Correction: The original version of this story included an incorrect reference to how flags are obtained in Eagle Point. This version has been corrected.

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