Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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July 2, 2013

Proudly flying in Athens

Kiwanis Club, Boy Scout Troop 343 continue long-standing city tradition

ATHENS — The sharp red, white and blue array of American flags flying around Athens for the Fourth of July holiday is a long-standing tradition made possible by the Kiwanis Club and the Boy Scout Troup 343.

Member Colin Barrett said the Kiwanis Club stepped up efforts this year and is not only placing flags at more locations in commemoration of the holidays, but is removing them quicker to preserve the life of “Old Glory.” That’s a tough chore when Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day fall just a couple of weeks apart.

The club has several teams that place the flags. It takes each group about two hours to place the flags and another couple of hours to collect them, Barrett said.

Two years ago, the Kiwanis Club had 99 businesses in the flag program. By 2012, they were running five routes and placing 200 flags. Barrett said the Kiwanis members now place 220 flags on each of the major holidays.

Volunteers gather at Kiwanis Park to put the flags on their metal poles and distribute them. The flags have decorated the courthouse square for several years and now are becoming more plentiful on surrounding streets and other locations.

The funds raised are put back into the community through various Kiwanis projects. Along with other efforts such as  Pancake Day and the Election Day Chili Supper, the flags help fund scholarships and other programs for youth of the county.

Businesses that would like to be added to the flag display list can contact Barrett at Edward D. Jones and Co. at 903-675-8583. The cost is $40 for each flag per year.

Thomas Faulk said the Boy Scouts now service about 250 residences in the city. Anyone who would like a flag placed at their residence can contact him at 903-603-0377.

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