Firefighters with the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services celebrated the Fourth of July by displaying an American flag on a new pole recently erected on the front lawn of fire headquarters.
The new flag pole had been requested by McDuffie County resident John Perryman, who noticed that the relatively new fire headquarters wasn't flying the American flag. All government buildings in Georgia are supposed to fly the flag on a pole.
The flag flew for the first time just a few days before America celebrated Independence Day last Saturday.
"We're very proud of our new flag and pole and glad to be flying our American flag outside of our headquarters," said McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services Chief Bruce Tanner. "People who work here take a lot of pride in our American flag. I think it has boosted their morale since it's been put up."
The flag and pole cost local taxpayers only $1,000 according to Stephen Sewell, who serves as assistant county fire chief. "That amount included the cost of shipping and erecting the pole, too," Assistant Chief Sewell said.
Following a recommendation by Commission Chairman Charlie Newton, funding for the project was unanimously approved by the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners, which includes Vice-Chairman Sammie Wilson, Sr., Fred Favors, Paul McCorkle and Bill Jopling. The purchase of the new flag pole came from contingency funds, according to McDuffie County Manager Don Norton.
Mr. Perryman had written a letter earlier to Mr. Newton informing him of the need for a flag outside county fire headquarters. He also indicated that he was willing to raise the necessary funds to purchase a new flag pole and flag for the site.
When Mr. Newton told fellow commissioners of Mr. Perryman's commitment to raise funds for such a project, it was decided that the county would pick up the tab. Mr. Newton expressed regret at the oversight of not budgeting for a new flag pole when the building was constructed.
"The new flag pole and flag really make our fire headquarters standout," Chief Tanner said. "The flag is a great symbol of our country and we are very proud to be able to display it."
Chief Tanner said he'd also like to publicly thank Mr. Perryman.
"If it hadn't been for him noticing that we didn't have a flag and pole, we still might not have one today," Chief Tanner said. "I salute him and give him full credit for our flag and pole."
Workers with the McDuffie County Maintenance Department helped firefighters set the new flag pole into the ground.
"Our new flag and pole are something we can all be proud of because our flag stands for freedom and none of us should ever take any of the freedoms and liberties that we have for granted," Chief Tanner said.