Turlockers only have nine days left to register the American flag flying in front of their home or business to be counted in the City of Turlock’s 1,000 Flag Initiative.
Mayor Gary Soiseth laid down the gauntlet on Turlock’s patriotism during his State of the City address in March, challenging residents, organizations and businesses of Turlock to fly the American flag with the goal of reaching 1,000 flags by Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
As of Tuesday, 865 flags have been registered on the City of Turlock’s website with nine days remaining until Veterans Day.
The Mayor has been talking to community groups, service clubs and businesses, hoping to bridge that 135-flag gap to reach his goal.
“While we have just over a week to close the gap, I'm convinced that the community will rally behind this challenge and we will reach our goal of 1,00 flags,” said Soiseth. “I'm personally delivering two flags this week to community members that have requested one. If you need assistance installing a flag pole or if you don't have the means to obtain a flag, call City Hall and we'll make sure you receive one, even if I have to deliver it myself.”
The Mayor said in March that he got the idea for the 1,000 Flag Initiate after hearing about what happened to one Turlock veteran’s American flag.
One morning in September 2015, retired Marine Loren Vincent went out to retrieve his newspaper and found that someone had removed the American flag from its pole in front of his house and burned it down into an almost-unrecognizable heap.
Vincent received help from his neighbor and United States Air Force retiree Joe Nance to replace the destroyed remnants the next day, and together the two military men successfully raised and saluted a new American flag.
Although Vincent was able to quickly replace his burnt flag, he still received an influx of support from the community immediately following the incident.
Congressman Jeff Denham presented him with a flag that was flown over the United States Capitol building and American Legion Rex Ish Post 88 presented Vincent with a POW/MIA flag. The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution also presented Vincent with a Certificate of Commendation “in recognition of exemplary patriotism in the display of the flag of the United States of America.”
Soiseth said that he was touched by the positive response Vincent received following the flag vandalism incident and wanted to see that patriotism take root throughout Turlock.
The Turlock City Council launched the flag initiative by designating three flag corridors: Main Street, between Palm and Lander; Canal Drive along the Joe Gallison Parkway; and Countryside Drive, between Fulkerth and Monte Vista.
City crews assisted local businesses and organizations with hard to replace flags on poles throughout the community, starting with the Stanislaus County Library, the U.S. Post Office and Berkeley Avenue Baptist church, who all need the boom trucks to replace these flags. The City is continuing to offer assistance for those needing help to replace a flag.
The City keeps track of how many flags are being flown throughout Turlock with an online registry. Residents are encouraged to register their flag as soon as possible at: http://ci.turlock.ca.us/1000flags/index.asp or by calling 209-668-5594.