Canton Legion Flag Program promotes patriotism throughout the community

By Charlie Warner

When the Memorial Day weekend rolls around later on this month, Canton will be filled with the red, white and blue of scores of American flags.

When the Memorial Day weekend rolls around later on this month, Canton will be filled with the red, white and blue of scores of American flags. Thanks to a new program the Canton American Legion is championing, more than 60 new 3 by 5-foot American flags will be proudly displayed on white poles along the boulevards of the small Fillmore County community.
“Harmony has had a similar program for a number of years; small American flags have been placed along the main highways going through their city during holidays,” said Canton American Legion Commander Nick Prestby. “We thought this was a very good way of promoting the flag and reminding people just why we were celebrating certain holidays and discussed coming up with a similar program at a recent Legion meeting.”
During that discussion, Legion members wholeheartedly supported the idea, but decided to take it one step further. Instead of using the smaller 1 by 2-foot flags, which Harmony and several other communities were using, the Canton members decided to go with larger flags and taller poles. And while other communities place the flags in highway boulevards throughout their cities, Canton Legion members decided to offer the flags to anyone in town.
Residents may have an 18-inch aluminum flagpole holder placed in their front yard near the street. The holders will be installed by Legion members and will be driven down to ground level so property owners won’t have to mow around them. A plastic cap will be installed on the top of the holder, so debris won’t fill it. Before the holders are installed, Legion members will place a blue marker flag in each yard, allowing property owners to visualize where the flag will be placed.
“We plan to line the flags up on each street so that they have a uniform look,” Prestby noted.
Legion members will place the flags before five designated holidays: Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Flag Day and Veterans Day. The flags will be removed following each of those five holidays and stored at the Legion building in Canton. 
The cost of the program is $45 per year. The Legion will not profit the first year due its to primary investment, but in subsequent years, the program should be a significant fundraiser. Response to the program has been positive said Prestby. “Any money we raise by any of our events is donated right back to the community,” he said. 
“We had quite a few residents contact us right away,” he noted. “And we went around and asked other folks if they’d like to participate.” As the word continues to spread, Prestby feels that number will grow. “People seem to be very supportive of this,” he concluded.
Those interested may call Prestby at 770 605-5312.

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