At first glance, one of the 28 American flags used at Village Hall appears to have six red stripes instead of seven.
On closer inspection, traces of the seventh stripe are evident as red threads dangle from the flag.
The state of the flags — displayed along the fence in front of the hall on holidays — is what prompted Jeff Vrabel Sr. of the Ohio Sons of the American Legion Squadron 15 to launch a new program, Flags Over Poland, Oct. 1.
“I bet these flags are up to 30 years old, and you can see they’re in bad shape,” Vrabel said.
Flags Over Poland is an initiative to raise money for new flags and Squadron 15.
The program offers three options for sponsorship. The first is paying $50 to sponsor one 3-foot- by-5-foot nylon flag for display at Village Hall. Sponsors also could have a name embroidered on the flag’s canvas spine.
The other two options are paying $85 to sponsor a flag on a utility pole or $70 to purchase a flag for a home or business that comes with a 6-foot-long pole.
“Nylon has a longer life span than the current cotton flags, but it does depend on the weather,” Vrabel said, adding that eight replacement flags already have been purchased.
The flags usually are flown in front of Village Hall on the Fourth of July and Memorial Day, said Mayor Tim Sicafuse.
“The flags on utility poles, that’s going to be an extra bonus, and those, I believe, will stay up year-round,” Sicafuse said. “It’s a good idea and something that needs done. It’s helping us out a lot.”
The old flags will be disposed of at the annual Sons of the American Legion ceremony during Celebrate Poland, usually in June.
The Sons of the American Legion was created in 1932 and is composed of men whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military. Vrabel said the group’s goal is to teach citizenship and preserve American traditions and values.
“I’d like Poland to be known as flag city when this is all over,” Vrabel said. “A lot of people fought and died for the flag, and this is a good way to thank those who are serving right now.”
Sponsorship forms are available at Village Hall, 308 S. Main St., or Trolio’s Original T-Shirts, 35 W. McKinley Way. Individuals also may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for forms and more information.