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Flag day ceremony honors US flag adoption

by Linda Hiller

Monday is Flag Day, to honor the June 14, 1777 adoption of the official United States flag.

Bently Nevada Corp. flies three flags in front of their Minden headquarters on Highway 395 and Buckeye Road. On the left is the American flag, on the right is the State of Nevada flag and in the center will be one of at least 63 flags, depending on who is in town visiting the international corporation at the time.

“It started when we wanted to fly the flags of our guests when they come through,” said Bob Ellison, head of security for Bently Nevada. “We get so many people from foreign countries that we just rotate the flags through.”

Ellison said the Bently flag collection consists of 63 flags which are changed daily, but the current flag on the flagpole – the Carson Valley Days flag – will fly through tomorrow.

The flags are purchased from a flag store in Reno, Ellison said, and vary in price depending on the country.

“Flags from countries like France or England are pretty easy to get and don’t cost as much as one from, say, Azerbaijan,” he said. “We also have flags from China, Taiwan, Japan and the Russian states, among others.”

There are two sets of flag poles at Bently, one at the science park and one at Building A in Minden, Ellison said. The flags are run up the poles every morning around 7 a.m. and brought down at the close of the business day.

“We have to constantly replace them, too, because the diesel fumes turn them gray,” he said. “We replace the U.S. and Nevada flags around two times a year. Any of the other ones with a white field – Japan and Korea, for example – have to be replaced more often than those with less white.”

The foreign flag is always identified by a sign at the base of the poles.

“We did that because people were interersted,” he said. “Over the years we’ve had a lot of people stop and ask ‘What flag is that?’ so we put the sign up.”

When Bently Nevada moves into the new location, now being built off Buckeye Road, Ellison said he doesn’t know if the flagpoles will still fly the three flags at the highly visible location on Highway 395.

“I know people enjoy them, though,” he said.

Ellison said he will be flying a U.S. flag at his own residence Monday in honor of Flag Day.

“I never miss an opportunity to fly the flag,” he said.