Thursday may be Flag Day, but it is on Friday that the flag will fly again over Edward Everett Square.
Stricken down last summer in the middle of a violent thunderstorm, the old wooden flag pole has been teetering precariously for almost a full year. But on June 15 it will be taken down and replaced with a brand new 100-foot tall fiberglass pole, just in time for the unveiling of other square improvements. And in case lightening does strike twice, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will place a lighting rod in the middle of the poll to keep it safe.
"We are going to have a lighting rod installed in the pole so it will be grounded and it will be much less vulnerable to damage," said Jeffery Harris of the DCR.
The old wooden pole was about 98 feet tall and had stood in Edward Everett Square for over 70 years, but it won't be just tossed aside, says Harris. The stump of the pole will be left along with a plaque so the community can remember the old faithful.
But not even the new pole will really be able to replace the old one, as the city will have to fly a relatively smaller flag at the top, the fiberglass not being able to handle the size and wind resistance the wood could.
"The fiberglass pole cannot handle the stress of flying a flag that large," Harris said, explaining the old flag was a stunning 30 by 50 feet. "But we have purchased a couple of new flags for this pole. One that is twenty by thirty feet and another that is fifteen by twenty-five feet. The idea is that we will fly the larger nylon flag during the summer months and the smaller but more durable flag during the winter."
The flag pole will be replaced by crane on Friday, but a ceremony with DCR and community members will not take place until later in the month because of a scheduling conflict with the new DCR Chairman Richard Sullivan, who takes over the reigns next week.
On Saturday the square will celebrate not just the new pole, but the brand new design that has taken twelve years to complete. The neighborhood will be christening what head planner John McColgan says was a long time coming.
"It has been a long haul, very difficult at times, painful at times. We experienced so many delays, but we jumped at it with patience, fortitude and forbearance, and not for once were we going to give up on this," says McColgan.. "We are very excited about [Saturday] I'm speechless here."
McColgan has been out recently with the brick laying apprentices who have toiled to put in the 200 bricks that were bought in donations, along with the rest of the work.
"They have been working like demons on this for weeks, and they have been doing it free of charge," he proclaims enthusiastically. "I was down there on Saturday, they were working like titans, and their spirits were tremendous."
So with a new design, new artwork, and a new flag pole, Edward Everett Square will look like a brand new place this coming weekend. And the people that got it there are more than ready to celebrate.