CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Why would a small group of citizens go to so much trouble to show the world what patriotism means to them.
The Ringgold group that sponsors “the Festival of Flags” every May…it’s a lot of work—but worth it.
Vietnam Veteran Pete Pedigo tells us “Any street they come into–courthouse, city all …anywhere, there’ll be a cross and flag.”
This all started back in the early 1970’s when 20 people decided they wanted to show the patriotic spirit of Ringgold, Georgia.
They put up about 20 flags near the courthouse and left them until after Memorial day.
It’s actually a series of flags plus a cross to honor a specific military man or woman.
Volunteer Lawanna Horton says “The significance for we as an older generation, is to model to the younger generation what it means to be patriotic, to be loyal, and to participate in community actions…such as this.”
Pedigo adds “I started 11 years ago when I retired. I started helping do this, I didn’t see very many Vietnam crosses …but now there’s just a ton of them..a lot of Vietnam crosses.”
They started putting up the flags at 8:30 this morning. The crosses were made by a school shop class.
ROTC groups were among the volunteers.
Ringgold High ROTC instructor Major James Creamer, USA (Ret) says “It means they’re involved. Yeah, they’re not playing on cell phones, and things like that so they’re actually out here doing something for the community.”
There’s one piece of unfinished business at the end of this year’s “Festival of the Flags.”
Pedigo concludes “It don’t make sense to most people but its harder the day we take them down than it is the day we put them up. We have to fold the flags, we have to pick the poles up, You’re talking about a lot of work if you have to pick up 1500 of these poles..and put them on a trailer …yes, certainly, we’d appreciate any help in taking them down June 4th.”