Salute to Flag Day 2011 in Red Wing, MN"To think this all started because of one veteran," Red Wing American Legion Post 54 manager Linda Chandler said of the new flag raised in 2011 atop Barn Bluff.
"To think this all started because of one veteran," Red Wing American Legion Post 54 manager Linda Chandler said of the new flag raised in 2011 atop Barn Bluff.
She referred to Doug Wendlandt, a Legion member who had been working to get the stars and stripes raised high since March 2010.
"I feel good — I feel proud," Wendlandt said after the colors finally flew high in June.
"Doug's dream became reality," Chandler said. "He was pretty nervous today. He said, 'I didn't sleep all night.'"
Chandler joined a handful of other Legion workers and area residents who watched from the Legion clubroom patio as the flag went up. Other groups of people observed the raising from different locations downtown and some, hands over hearts, sang "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Dennis and Marlis Whitmore were among those watching from the Legion, along with grandson Hunter. The Whitmores donated the 10-by-15-foot polyester flag that now graces Barn Bluff.
There was a flag on Barn Bluff from 1921 to 1961, but vandalism resulted in it being taken down. And putting one back up took a lot of effort with the help of many volunteers.
Since the flag is attached to a 40-foot pole that weighs a hefty 600 pounds, getting the grand old flag to fly high on Barn Bluff was a complicated process.
It started at Thomas & Betts Corp. in Hager City, where the eight-sided steel pole was manufactured.
Thomas & Betts donated the pole, and this isn't the first item the manufacturing company has donated something to be displayed in Red Wing. Thomas & Betts also provided the arch over the entrance to Discovery Garden in Colvill Park and built the teepee landmark that resides at Bay Point Park.
"We like to do what we can, and support our community," said Jeff Boigenzahn, manager of the Hager City plant.
K C Flueger and his crew from Flueger Construction took the first steps to get the pole up the bluff.
Flueger picked the flagpole up at Thomas & Betts and carefully made his way back into Red Wing and up the side of Barn Bluff. By parking his truck in a quarry on the bluff and lifting the pole onto a high ledge with a crane, half of the hill was conquered.
A few days later, about 15 men showed up to transport the pole further up the bluff and secure it in its permanent location. This move took a lot more muscle, however, because no vehicles were used. Instead, straps were wrapped around the pole and around long wooden boards that rested on each man's shoulders as they carried the 600-pound hunk of steel.
The hole was already dug where the pole would go, but it wasn't the same location as it was in the 1920s. Veteran Jerry Borgen said since the old foundation is on Indian burial grounds, the flag couldn't be mounted in its previous spot and, instead, was moved 63 feet south.
"It's still on the crest of the hill," Borgen added. "Right up the hill from Main Street."
The flag-raising appropriately took place on Flag Day.
"I think it's wonderful," Legion Auxiliary President Jan Frazier said after she saw the flag go up. "Because when you come into our beautiful town of Red wing, hopefully you'll be able to see it."