500 FLAGS LINE THE STREETS IN MERCER, PA.
On May 25, 2013, my husband Monte and I had occasion to drive through Mercer, Pennsylvania, a borough, having a population of 2,391 in the 2000 census. This seat of Mercer County is named after a physician, Brigadier General Hugh Mercer, who was a close friend of General George Washington.*
Through the years since we moved to Pennsylvania (in 1969) I’ve traveled to and through Mercer numerous times. I worked at the Mercer County Children’s Home for nine months when we first moved to Slippery Rock. It was also on the route between Jamestown and Slippery Rock, which we traveled when Monte worked in Jamestown for five years.
However, on May 25th the borough had a unique appearance. There were flags lining the streets surrounding the courthouse and other streets as well. Flags, flags, and more flags. I became curious about them and searched the Internet for information.
Ten years ago Mark Brown and his wife Linda decided to create a permanent Memorial Day salute to veterans by installing 500 flags along the day’s parade route: South Pitt Street, a portion of Venango, and the north end of Citizens Cemetery.
Two men, Dave King and Pat Brown, devised a way to install 500 PVC sleeves to hold the flags.
The flags, including the PVC sleeves, cost public purchasers $25.00. Also included was a dog tag and chain, hung with the flag, which bears the name of the purchaser and an honoree chosen by the purchaser—a family member, a veteran, or a business.
All 500 flags were sold in a year’s time. They were displayed for the first time on Memorial Day, 2005.
It was quite impressive driving through Mercer twice that day. I managed to photograph the pictures while we were driving along.
I wasn’t able to discover whether the flags are displayed today, June 14, Flag Day. If not, they should be. It would be an impressive way to mark this day.