Rotary Club installs flags for veterans

HARLINGEN — On a windy Presidents’ Day morning, a group of Rotary Club members set out to install flags outside of the Eastgate RV Mobile Park.

The flags are part of the North Harlingen Rotary Club’s initiative to make Harlingen a little more patriotic.

After training in Dallas, club president Landon Jennings decided he wanted to implement a flag initiative that other cities had been doing.

“It has been a positive thing that other groups and clubs have done in other cities and I thought it would be nice to bring to Harlingen,” Jennings said.

His first flag installment was on Veterans Day last year.

Jennings went door-to-door dropping off forms for business owners and residents to purchase a subscription or sponsor a local veteran.

His original idea was to install flags in the area and allow the community to show their support for the local veterans.

During a presentation at the Eastgate Mobile RV Park, Jennings saw a trend of support between the veterans.

“The veterans in the park decided they wanted to honor each other,” Jennings said. “Most of those flags are the veterans in the park honoring each other with a flag subscription for a flag to be placed throughout the year.”

Resident and veteran Gary Hamberg is the person who began the challenge.

According to another resident, Margaret Bergen, Hamberg stood up during Jennings’ presentation saying he would honor a fellow veteran that led to a chain of veterans sponsoring each other.

Jennings has installed 30 flags since the inception of the flags project, 20 of them are located at the Eastgate RV Mobile Park, 19 American flags and one Canadian flag to represent the Canadian residents.

Jennings said he is limited in how many flags he can put up.

Starting at six in the morning, it takes him two hours to put up all the flags.

“Its something we have gotten a lot of positive response for,” Jennings said. “We could do many more, but we’re limited on labor because our club is kind of small.”

Due to their limitations, Jennings said the Rotary Club is focusing on certain neighborhoods in Harlingen. However, if other residents wish to sponsor a veteran through the program, he would happily install a flag.

Flags will be installed five times a year during Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day.

The next set of flag installations will be on Memorial Day.