180 US Flag median display at Robson Ranch

The flag crew

The flag crew

Sam Goodrich

Ever wonder how 180 U.S. flags magically appear in the median at Robson Ranch on designated national flag flying holidays? Here is the story. A few days before each display event a small group of dedicated Support Our Troops volunteers called the set-up crew begins the process by carefully inspecting the status of each and every flag pole sleeve on the display route, which runs from the gate entry point on Ed Robson Boulevard to the entry of the Robson Ranch Veterans Park. Using a metal detector to find the sleeve caps on top of each sleeve, the set-up crew straightens or replaces the sleeves that need it and then carefully trims the grass around each sleeve so that they can be easily spotted by the flag placement crew.

A week before each display date a call goes out via email to a standing list of willing Robson Ranch volunteers who help either place the flags in the morning, recover them in the afternoon, or both.

At 7:45 a.m. on the day of each display, two volunteers with pickup trucks meet with the morning flag placement team at the Wildhorse golf cart barn where all 180 U.S. flags are stored. The flags are removed from storage, uncovered and placed in the rear beds of the two trucks, ready for placement. The placement team is divided into two groups. One group begins placing flags at the entry to the Veterans Park, and the other group starts at the entry gate. Twenty minutes later all 180 U.S. flags have been placed in a beautiful serpentine display!

At 5:00 p.m. on each display day two groups of flag recovery team volunteers begin recovering each of the 180 flags. Each flag is carefully but tightly wrapped around the top of its own pole and placed in the rear of one of the pickups. When all flags have been recovered they are driven to the Robson Ranch sales office parking lot where the recovery team covers them for transportation back to the Wildhorse cart barn for storage. The entire recovery team process is over in about half an hour.

Any Robson Ranch resident who would like to participate as a flag placement or recovery volunteer can contact SOT president Chuck Runner, SOT treasurer Quinn Sowell or flag crew coordinator John McMerty for more information.