Eudorans rally with patriotism surge
Although Paul Oelschlaeger created a lighted flag display several years ago, he and his wife, Doris, decided this fall would be a good time to bring it out again.
"We put the flag out all the time, I thought, why don't we put it up," Paul Oelschlaeger said.
The painted wood panel encrusted with white holiday lights twinkling keeps the couple from having to put up and take down a cloth flag every night and every morning.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, many of Eudora's porches, stoops, windows and even car antennas sport the American flag. In fact, Eudora's patriotism even eliminated Arrowhead Hardware's flag inventory, said co-owner Gary Lamoreux.
"We had quite a few flags when this whole thing started," he said. "We sold out real fast. We had a hard time getting anything red, white and blue."
Although Arrowhead will soon close its doors, meaning the store's trying to reduce its inventory, a shipment of new flags just came in. Lamoreux said as soon as he found a supplier who could fill his order he didn't want to turn around and cancel.
"We called supplier after supplier trying to get any type of flag we could get our hands on," he said.
At a recent hardware convention, Lamoreux said all the flag manufacturers he spoke with didn't have any either. Right now, though, Arrowhead carries flags in several different sizes.
"We've got them," Lamoreux said last week. "I don't know how long that's going to last."
The Rally 'Round the Flag, Eudora campaign began earlier this year by encouraging Eudorans to put up flags for Memorial Day, leading to similar efforts for Flag Day and Independence Day. Although supporters didn't campaign after Sept. 11, many kept up or put up flags nonetheless
"We felt so good about it because we believed in it before Sept. 11," said Rally supporter Joy Clouse, who has a flag on her mailbox and telephone pole. "It began to catch on, and I think if someone would pick up on it we could be the first town in the United States to have all their flags flying. Can you think of anything that would be better to bring a community together?"
The small community of Kreative Kids Daycare came together when the 13 children made construction paper flags that were laminated and placed on wooden dowels in front of the home housing the facility. Daycare operator Linda Chancellor said the children routinely make crafts.
Yet in Doris Oelschlaeger's opinion, the surge of patriotism and display of the flag should be an ongoing effort.
"We shouldn't have to wait until a tragedy to put our flag up," she said.
As a veteran, her husband said the flag carries special meaning.
"I was in the service in World War II," he said. "I sure thought about that flag a lot of times."