It’s not a good forecast when they take down the large flag

You can look at Webb City’s giant flag pole in front of the Praying Hands monument to boost your patriotism or tell you the weather’s bad – or is going to get that way.

The 20-foot by 35-foot flag is somewhat fragile when it comes to bad weather. Even when there’s no precipitation in the forecast, Gary Pippin, a parks department supervisor, says the threat of high winds is reason enough to take the flag down.

Like everyone else, parks department employees were aware Tuesday morning that rain, ice and snow were coming our way.

Pippin and the rest of the crew stationed at the base of the pole while the crank was turned to lower the flag.

One thing they’ve learned the hard way is that it takes four people to corral the end of the flag. Pippin recalls when former parks employee Earl Schofler was wrapped up by the flag, lifted and thrown into the side of a truck. It broke his ribs.

As the flag comes down, it is stuffed into a container and taken away to be kept dry.

The city keeps four of the big flags on hand, says Pippin. When they get tattered, they’re taken to be repaired by Mallory Canvas in Carthage. Two are there now.

Pippin says they can fly for about 30 days before they start to fray.

“Every two years we have to replace a flag,” says Pippin. “Otherwise it’s a good old glory.”