Community support sought in distributing flags for 4th of July

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WOOD COUNTY, W.Va.-(WTAP) Update: 7/1/2019

With Independence Day approaching, the Red, White and Blue is lining local streets throughout Wood County.

We told you a few weeks about an effort by local realtor Berkshire Hathaway to place flags along local streets in our area.

That effort has been under way for the past few days, and the response to a call for volunteers has been tremendous.

"I'd say about 3-400 people have helped," said realtor Holmes "Butch" Shaver. "It takes a lot of people to put out 12,000 flags. It's just sort of growing and building, and people are calling, saying, 'how can we help', and 'we want to help put them out'. It's a community effort to honor our veterans.">

The flags will be picked up after the Fourth, although Shaver says residents are encouraged to keep them.

When it began the campaign two decades, ago, Berkshire Hathaway placed 2,000 flags around the area for the Independence Day.

Last year, that number was 10,000. There's a lot of interest as it plans to do the same this year.

"I have had calls all day long from people who want to put flags in their neighborhood," says associate Linda McClean. "I had someone call this morning, who is a 90-year old veteran of World War II from Vienna, who wants to plant 200 flags."

The realtor is now looking for more community involvement in placing the flags. Another associate, Lavaun Lamb, with the help of her grandchildren, has been planting them for years.

"I have children who will come out and ask if they can have a flag," Lamb says. "People driving by in their vehicles will stop and they can have a flag. And we're happy to give anyone an American flag who would like one."

Parkersburg and Vienna have been locations for the flags, and they've been displayed as far away as Ritchie and Morgan Counties. This year, Belpre's chamber of commerce plans to display them along its business routes.

"We think this is a great way to honor our veterans and our country," says Executive Director Karen Waller, "and get businesses together on a project to help one of our members who has a wonderful project that helps the area."

Berkshire would like to display flags throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley. It believes with more involvement from individuals, it can achieve that goal.

Flags are available at Berkshire Hathaway's office in the PMC building near Grand Central Mall.