They may be down, but you cannot count them out.
A grassroots campaign to put a gigantic flag on C-Hill that would be visible from airlines -- and practically every street in Carson City -- hit a snag Sunday when organizers needed a little bit of ingenuity to keep the flag from flying away.
"We don't want part of it to end up in someone's yard somewhere," said Gilbert Ayarbe as he stood at the top of C Hill supervising the erection of a framework on which to lay the vinyl, 120-foot-by-67-foot flag.
Hopes of a Sunday morning unfurling were dashed, however briefly, by the rough terrain of the sagebrush covered hill.
Volunteers scurried about clearing the ground of giant boulders and securing the framework in place with rebar. A work crew from the Nevada State Prison will be on scene today doing more of the same.
The smallest of the volunteers nestled snugly in a belly pack on his mother was 6-month-old Gabriel Nevada Covington. There wasn't much for the little boy to do except smile a toothless grin and keep his mom, Mary, company as his dad, Aaron, helped other volunteers arrange for the grand display of Carson City patriotism.
The idea came to Ayarbe and his friend, Dan Mooney, as the pair walked along the hill shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks by terrorists on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Within days, John Buscay had designed the enormous flag and recruited his mother, Sarah Buscay, owner of Sarah's Upholstery, and Rene Quell, to measure, cut and sew the 680 yards of material used for the flag.
"It would have been nice if we could have unfurled her today, but we didn't want to rush it and damage the flag," Ayarbe said. "We have several things we are doing now to secure it. We have to dig down and make absolutely sure this isn't going anywhere."
"We are really disappointed we couldn't do it today but we can't take a chance on ruining the flag," Mooney said.
The group hopes to have the work completed by Wednesday and Carson City Supervisor Robin Williamson is organizing a dedication for the flag next Sunday.
Money was raised to purchase the lumber and supplies needed. Greater Nevada Credit Union donated $1,000 and other donors include the law firm of Allison, Mackenzie, Hartman, Soumbenoitis & Russell and Michael Hohl Motors also pitched in to help raise more than $3,000. Mooney said more than 100 people have been involved in the project.
Ayarbe said anyone wishing to volunteer can call 775-882-1681 or 775-882-5705 and leave a message. Donations can be made by calling Chris MacKenzie at 687-0202.
"We can always use volunteers. The more strangers we get up here, well they won't be strangers anymore. The more people that have a hand in this will make it a true community effort," he said.