"Neither snow nor rain nor heat . . ."
A Brief History of the Edmonds Lions Club Flag Program
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness . . .” keeps the Edmonds Lions from posting United States flags along the streets of Edmonds.
“Let’s do a flag program”
Twenty-six years ago, in 1988, Lion Bobby Mills said, “We need to do a flag program.” He became chairman of the committee that launched just such a plan. For a nominal fee Lions would put up and take down an American flag in front of a business on specified holidays.
The following year, sixty Edmonds businesses subscribed to the program. The City of Edmonds granted permission to drill holes along the street in which to post the flag poles. Tom Snyder set about procuring 90 flags through our Congressman in Washington DC.
Where Are the Flags?
Martin Luther King day 1990 was set for the first flag day, but the flags had not yet arrived, prompting Tom to give the Congressman a call. He was told it takes a long time to collect 90 flags that have been flown over the Capitol. Flown over the Capitol? That wasn’t part of the original request.
Still, the flags didn’t arrive and Martin Luther King day was fast approaching.
Edmonds Lion Jack Hackett of Evergreen Washelli Cemetery loaned the Club flags that the cemetery flew on Veterans’ Day. These were flags that had been presented to families of deceased veterans and donated to the cemetery by the families. It was an interesting assortment of older flags; some had 48 stars, some had 49. They served the Edmonds Lions Club well that first flag day.
The Flags Arrive
Eventually the Club’s flags arrived. Bobby stained wooden poles and attached the flags. For six years he stored the flags in his shed and later at other locations. Now they are stored at the old Public Works building; in return the Lions keep the parking lot clean.
Putting out the Flags
Flag volunteers start the day with a 6:30 am breakfast at Claire’s Pantry or the Pancake Haus. They begin posting the flags at 7:00 am and pick them up late afternoon before dark.
The program that began in 1990 on Martin Luther King Day with 60 flags has grown to more than 300 flags. It is the primary fundraiser that supports Edmonds Lions Club’s community projects.