Massive flag waves over Drumright, Oklahoma

Veterans raised the 30-by-50-foot flag Thursday for Flag Day, in a park dedicated to former Drumright Mayor Cleo Hutchison
BY JAMES BECKEL jbeckel@opubco.com Modified: June 15, 2012 at 1:13 am •  Published: June 15, 2012
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photo - Veterans from VFW Post 1118 in Cushing and members of the Honor Guard from American Legion Post 108 in Cushing helped raise the 30 x 50 foot American flag. Citizens of Drumright celebrated Flag Day by raising a huge American flag 100 feet into the air above Cleo Hutchison Centennial Memorial Park Thursday morning, June 14, 2012. Photo by Jim Beckel
Veterans from VFW Post 1118 in Cushing and members of the Honor Guard from American Legion Post 108 in Cushing helped raise the 30 x 50 foot American flag. Citizens of Drumright celebrated Flag Day by raising a huge American flag 100 feet into the air above Cleo Hutchison Centennial Memorial Park Thursday morning, June 14, 2012. Photo by Jim Beckel

Guyer talked about the town he claims as his home, and said he was “glad to live in this little town.” He has been on the local fire department for 16 years and he knows most of the townspeople. He said the reason for the success of the park project is the people of the community. “When somebody needs something, everybody pitches in to help.” He's raising his family, including a son and a daughter, in Drumright and he plans to “grow old and die” here.

Guyer brought the huge flag to the ceremony in the back of his fire department truck. It was neatly packed in the bed of the truck, with sections of the flag folded on top of the others.

When it was time to raise the flag, members of the American Legion and the VFW, dressed in starched white shirts and wearing pup-tent hats, lined up in two columns behind the truck's tailgate.

Carefully and respectfully, the oversized flag was unfolded, with a man on either side taking hold of the material and walking about ten paces until two more men stepped in to grab the next section. This process continued until the entire flag was being carried by 20 men up a slight incline to the towering flagpole.

Guyer and a city worker raised the flag slowly until the flag was hoisted to the top of the pole.

A steady southerly breeze quickly caught the bundled fabric and caused it to wave freely in the air as about 50 people applauded as they watched from below.

Sandy Perry came to the ceremony and said her emotions swelled before the flag was even on the pole. “I cried just watching them get the flag out of the truck.”

She admitted to being filled with pride as she watched the veterans carefully carry the flag and as she thought about her dad, who she said would love the park and the big flag.

Kenneth Seeberger, retired postmaster and Korean War veteran, looked up at the waving flag and remarked, “That's a huge flag.”

The sight of the new flag created a reaction in Seeberger, too.

“I got tears in my eyes when I saw it.”

On the east side of town, almost a mile from the park, Jackie Landis, who was born in Drumright, stood in her front doorway, looking at the flag that can easily be seen rising above the tops of downtown buildings. She said she likes the flag and enjoys seeing it from her porch or from the chair in her living room.

“I can enjoy it, rain or shine,” she said. The flag makes her feel patriotic and she's glad it will be up all the time.

She thinks the people of Drumright “did a good thing,” by providing the new flag. “I wish they would have done it sooner.”


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