Keeping the Flags Raised

Pictured is Nicole Henderson taking down a flag on Main Street. Henderson’s husband, Drew, managed the upkeep of the flags throughout the summer. (Pioneer Photo by Cole Benz)

Bowman vet managed Main Street flags most of the summer

A display of patriotism is important to many Americans, with some believing it is a civic duty.

Pioneer Editor

That’s why Bowman resident and military veteran Drew Henderson spent his summer watching over the flags that fly over Main Street.

“I decided to because I wanted to see them go up,” he said. “They look so nice when they’re up, and it is very patriotic and I’m patriotic.”

Earlier in the summer, there were rumblings that keeping the flags flown had become quite the task. Between picking up flags that had dropped on the ground, or making sure they remained untangled, the workload was getting overwhelming. So an alternate method of honoring the red, white, and blue was being pondered.

But Henderson wanted the flags to remain, reiterating to the Pioneer that he didn’t want to see them missing from the Main Street scene in Bowman.

So the flags went up shortly before Bowman’s annual Summerfest.

His father-in-law owns a construction company and was able to hoist Henderson up in one of his loaders to hang the flags.

Henderson managed most of the work himself throughout the summer, but he had a long list of volunteers ready and waiting if he needed to make a call.

“I had quite a few people approach me and say they would do what they could to help,” he said.

He credits his family, and friend Cameron Coates with assisting him with the work, which he admitted was kind of a big effort.

“There’s been so many people that have volunteered to help me out, and I guess I’ve only called on mainly my family members and Cameron [Coates],” Henderson added.

Following Henderson’s commitment, he approached the Tax and Tourism board about buying new supplies, which they obliged. So the group purchased new flags, and new poles.

“They put up a substantial amount of money,” Henderson said.

As the days went by, Henderson said he would get help from the community through tips of flags that had fallen or got twisted in the wind.

“The business owners on Main Street, they’re pretty good about [if] they see one down they’ll grab it, and then let me know about it,” he said.

He said the biggest problem with the flags failing is that everything is made out of plastic these days, and the rings that hold the flags often fail in the high winds of North Dakota.

“The main problem is issues with equipment, and of course sometimes they want to get wrapped around the poles and snagged up on stuff,” he said.

The new poles—considered spinner poles—are suppose to alleviate the tangles, but the still inevitably get twisted. Henderson said he and Coates have possibly come up with a solution to fix some of the issues.

But regardless, Henderson said he kept equipment in his truck throughout the summer so he could fix them as he saw them or was tipped off to them.

Henderson plans on taking on the flag responsibility next year.

“That’s the plan,” he said to the Pioneer.

As far as what kind of help he can use from general public?

Communication and patience.

Tell him about an issue, and then call him, and he’ll get to the problem with a flag or flags as soon as he can.

“The biggest help is letting me know when they’re down, and having patience with me on getting them replaced,” he said.

He reiterated his desire to see them up to the Pioneer, and added that he feels like it is his duty to see those flags fly out of respect for the town, and the veterans, and that he appreciates any help he gets in the future.

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