Flags find a good home in Atlantic


December 21st, 2018 by Ric Hanson

A red, white and blue drop box for unwanted U-S flags at the American Legion Memorial Building (The Armory at 201 Poplar Street), in Atlantic, has collected nearly 10,000 flags since it was installed in June, 2004 by the Atlantic Rotary Club. Rotary member Dolly Bergmann explained why the Rotary got involved in the process. She said Kevin Allen was a member of the Club when he noticed a similar box while traveling, on vacation. The boxes allowed people to drop-off flags for proper disposal. Allen brought the idea home and the Rotary determined it was a project they could undertake. Once they obtained a mailbox, it was painted.

Bob Boots spearheaded the effort to repair any flags that could be repaired and put back into service. The remainder were disposed of in the proper manner. Bergmann said the first year, more than 860 flags were dropped into the box. Boots not only took care of the flags as they came in, he kept meticulous records about them. She said without the information he’s kept track of, they would never have known how many flags there were.

Old Glory (The American flag), represents most of what are submitted for repair or disposal, but there are occasionally foreign and POW/MIA flags. Not all of them can be repaired and turned-over to local groups or organizations, though. About five-percent are repairable. And, if you’ve ever seen the Boys Scouts walking in an Atlantic parade with a huge flag, you can thank Bob Boots for making that possible. He spliced two large flags together to make the one giant flag.

If you have a flag that is tattered or torn, or even want to dispose of a good, gently used flag, head on down to the American Legion Memorial Building in Atlantic, and place it inside the outside mailbox specifically marked for flag drop-offs.