History of Fly the Flag High 

     Fly the Flag High, the realization of a childhood dream, is a Flag Day celebration of our military, our veterans, and our country.

Fly the Flag High:  What It Is

        On Flag Day, June 14, 2018, the inaugural appearance of Fly the Flag High occurred.  One hundred thirty-eight volunteers - from a ten year old Boy Scout to an eighty year old Korean War veteran - held fluttering U.S. flags from 8 am ​to 9 am on the Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot  (Centennial) Memorial Bridge.  In 2019, despite flooding and the overcast weather, over ninety individuals proudly held flags

 high above the Mississippi River.

Much to the committee's dismay, the 2020 Fly the Flag High

 had to be canceled because of the pandemic.   Instead, community members were encouraged to display flags at their homes on Flag Day.  Fly the Flag High committee members photographed many patriotic displays and then uploaded them to the 

Fly the Flag High website.


The Story Behind Fly the Flag High


In the late 1960's, Walter Cronkite nightly reported bombings of Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Karen Buchanan, a young child watching the frightening news, peppered her parents with questions like, "If we can bomb them, how come they can't bomb us?"


Her parents reassured her that our country had numerous safeguards in place. One of these, however,  puzzled Karen.  People, literally strangers, would sacrifice their lives for her?   This realization started her lifelong respect and appreciation for our military and for our veterans.  Some day, she thought, that respect and appreciation will  be known.  


           In 2017, next to her at a traffic light were some young kids  cruising while drinking their sodas.  flag fluttered from their rearview mirror. For some reason, an idea clicked in Karen's mind.  She knew how she could celebrate the military, the veterans, and the country.  She would begin a grass roots 

campaign to start a celebration

 on Flag Day, June 14th. 

Her idea became a realization with the event 

Fly the Flag High.  


  Numerous individuals, businesses, and groups contributed to the success of Fly the Flag high by

 giving time, money, and energy. 

Thanks to the following for making a dream come true: 


        Veteran Mark McQuate was instrumental in taking an idea, a hope, and  helping create a momentous event.  Without him, Fly the Flag High would

 have remained  a dream.

**************************** The Honorable Illinois State Representative Mike Halpin who   cleared the way for Fly the Flag High to happen.  Despite his busy schedule, he always manages 

to be at Fly the Flag High.


 The Honorable (Retired) US  Representative Dave Loebsack (D-IA)  has supported Fly the Flag High and its mission from its conception.  Thanks for your dedication and contribution to our country.


      Committee Members 


Thanks for the giving of your time, your sincere love of our country, and your patriotism.


 Steve Castrey, Bill Churchill, Gordon Fortney, Dr. Angel Hong, Dave Jones, Steward Lyman, Steve Schrock, Joyce Spidle, and Karen Buchanan

****************************         The Cities of Rock Island & Davenport


Davenport AM Optimist Club ​generously donated money to Fly the Flag High as well as loaning US flags for

 the event.


           Davenport Noon Optimist Club donated its US flags for Fly the Flag High.

***************************         The Patriot Guard provided its US flags for Fly the Flag High and also attend the event each year. 



The Davenport American Legion has provided an Honor Guard for the Opening Ceremonies at Fly the Flag High and also opened its doors as a meeting place for the Fly the Flag High Planning Committee.


           Modern Woodmen has graciously allowed its employees to volunteer at Fly the Flag High during office hours.  Thanks to the employees who have participated at Fly the Flag High.


   Molly "Shutters" Condon generously photographed the first   two Fly the Flag High events and generously donated CD's of photos to the Fly the Flag High Planning Committee.


Modern Woodmen Park opened the ballpark doors so spectators could sit along the third base seats and view the flags flying high.  For the convenience of the volunteers, the ballpark staff opened its restrooms                    

   Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) approved the  Fly the Flag High volunteers to stand with flags on the Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot (Centennial) Memorial Bridge.

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