New flags going up thanks to donations

The tattered flags atop the staves of Heritage Point are retiring one by one.

A joint service committee representing a collaboration of six Warren clubs the Kiwanis, Exchange, Zonta, Lions, Rotary and Jaycees ensure the flags remain flying, but it isn’t always easy.

The flags’ location along the Allegheny River ensures more than usual wear and tear from breeze, and this year, the group noticed the banners were in need of replacement early.

Normally, the flags are replaced on a two-year cycle, but a summer windstorm sealed the deal by damaging one, the Betsy Ross American flag, so badly it had to be removed.

According to Don Reed, treasurer for the committee in charge of caring for the flags, the material for the flags has become less resilient in recent years. That, and the irreparable damage to the Betsy Ross flag, led the group to decide to replace the set early.

On Wednesday, the new Betsy Ross flag went up, according to Reed, and on Thursday, he raised the new French colonial flag.

“It took a long time to get all the flags in because they have to be custom-made,” Reed said, noting all replacement flags will be flying next year. “We’ll put up all the new flags at our Memorial Day service next year.”

Replacing the entire set of flags, which, according to Reed, cost just under $3,000, was only possible through community effort.

“We had a lot of good support from the community,” Reed said. “It was nice to see.”

The four flags, representing local heritage, include the Betsy Ross American flag, the Seneca Nation flag, the French Fleur-De-Lis flag and the British Union Jack.