Fifth and Walnut garage will not get 60-foot flagpole

Monday, June 6, 2011 | 10:14 p.m. CDT; updated 8:46 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 7, 2011

COLUMBIA — Columbia City Council members affirmed their patriotism but not their support for putting a 60-foot flagpole on top of the Fifth and Walnut parking garage.

After a report was read regarding the cost and recommended placement of the flagpole, the council decided to not move forward with the idea. Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley proposed the idea and was the only member in support of it.

The flagpole and lighting would have cost $13,000, and replacing the flag yearly would have cost $600. Lighting would have cost an unknown amount of electricity every year, according to a previous Missourian report.

Dudley said the bidding could be lower than $13,000, and donations toward the project from the community would be possible. He also talked about adding state and city flags to the pole.

In order to add more flags, the pole height would have to be raised, Public Works Director John Glascock said.

“I consider myself patriotic, but I don’t want to spend the money,” Mayor Bob McDavid said.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe and Fifth Ward Councilwoman Helen Anthony agreed with McDavid about their own patriotism and agreed they would not support the idea.

“I think this wouldn’t be best,” Anthony said. She expressed concern that the existing utilities of the garage aren't yet covered.

Hoppe said she feared the flagpole would call more attention to the height of the garage, as well as cause unnecessary costs.

“In the off-chance that a citizen hasn’t seen the garage, this will draw their attention to it,” Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill said.

“We could use the money for another more functional purpose,” Hoppe said, pointing out that flags already exist at the police station and the post office.

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Richard Saunders June 7, 2011 | 10:57 a.m.

Like say, colored glass?

(Report Comment)
Harold Sutton June 7, 2011 | 11:03 a.m.

Displaying the Flag is always good. But, how many will even notice it way up there. And the cost can not be justified just to please a few. We all know what our flag looks like and what it stands for. I served eleven years, my son served twenty six years, my brother served twenty-three years, several uncles served, a niece served eight years.

And I am very sensitive about people who have essentially spit and even literally on our flag in times past.

So lets not wave the flag just because it is pretty.

(Report Comment)
Harold Sutton June 7, 2011 | 11:47 a.m.

Perhaps I should clarify my previous comment; I am not direspecting Councilman Darrel Dudley. I do not know his background.

But I get a bit uptight when I see our Flag and our Colors being displayed when I know that some do so just because they want to look patriotic and it looks pretty.

I have a Brother-in-law who is now on full disability from "agent orange". He is proud of our Flag and it troubles him every time he see's it being displayed just for decoration.

Far to many people assume that our freedom to say what we want, print what we want, gather as we want, our many freedoms, are just because of laws that say so. Wrong!!! The Combat Veterans, from the Revolutionary war on up to today, gave us those freedoms.

And many politicians keep trying to control, in various covert manners, those freedoms.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 7, 2011 | 11:53 a.m.

Send them to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield June 7, 2011 | 12:24 p.m.

Thanks for setting us straight, Harold. I just went outside and took down my flag so I no longer "look patriotic."

(Report Comment)

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