Veterans recover damaged flags


SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KFTA) — A veterans’ organization works to replace  American flags damaged or lost during recent storms.

Nearly 200 American flags line Highway 412 within the city limits of Siloam Springs. Dozens of those flags were destroyed and some even lost in last month’s tornado. American Legion Post 29  is now doing what it can to replace those flags.

Veteran and Service Officer Jerry Cavness said “there was considerable damage, lots of trees and a lot of light posts were taken down. When the light post went down, the flags went down with them.”

The organization has been in charge of maintaining all of the flags on highway 412 for the past three years. 

“We change them out about twice a year and we replace them in times when necessary.” Cavness said

At least, 30 flags were lost when tornadoes hit two weeks ago. 

American Legion’s Adjutant J.W. Smith said ” We have actually had flags that the strips have separated and we have flags that because of the wind damage had the lining separated from the red stripes.”

After the storm, the organization made a plea on Facebook for the community to help recover the flags, and calls started pouring in.

 “We’ve been excited and it’s rewarding at the same time that we had several people come forward. We’ve had young families, postal workers… just a lot of different people who have found the flags and made sure they got returned to us.” said Cavness

Once all the poles around the city are fixed, new flags will go back up.

“We are making sure that there aren’t any flags still on the ground anywhere..that they are properly recycled or retired properly so that we don’t use any flags that have been soiled.

As a Veteran, Cavness said he is doing his part to take care of the American flag even during hard times.

“It’s all very rewarding program that we have and one that we can take pride in because we are honoring the flags and in that way we are honoring the country.”

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