Flags are a hot commodity

Published on Thu, Sep 20, 2001 by Meg Olson

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Flags are a hot commodity

By Meg Olson

As Old Glory was unfurled from businesses and homes across the country following last week’s attacks, Blaine city clerk Shirley Thorsteinson joined in, putting two small flags in the window boxes outside her H Street office. Over the weekend, the first disappeared, and in its place Thorsteinson found a note.

“I am proud to be an American,” it read, “and I borrowed your American flag so I could do the pledge of allegiance at home with my three kids every morning before the day begins for five days. I will return it on the sixth morning, same time, same place. P.S. In memory of the dead people at the World Trade Center.”

The note had a name and a phone number. “I called her and told her she could keep it,” Thorsteinson said. When she returned from lunch Monday, her second flag was gone, but Thorsteinson was glad to see it go too. “You can hardly find a flag in Whatcom County,” she said. “They probably needed it.”

Thorsteinson said she’d like to see more local homes and businesses fly the flag, but that will have to wait until local flag stocks are replenished.

“We’ve sold out,” said American Legion vice-commander Don Swobody. “We’ve put them on emergency order and hope we’ll have some within a week. This is a terrible time and everyone wants a flag.”

Coast to Coast on Peace Portal Drive was the last local business to run out of flags. They sold their last one over the weekend and hope to have some in by Wednesday. Pacific Building Center sold out the day of the attacks. “The manufacturer told us they were five weeks backordered,” said co-owner Pam Christianson. Christianson said said she tracked down some in a supplier’s warehouse and hopes they’ll be in this week. At Rite Aid, manager Jeff Young said flags have been ordered, and should be in within two weeks. The United States Congress has asked Americans to fly the flag for thirty days..

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