‘Flag lady’ has ensured Old Glory graces span|[6/20/05]

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 20, 2005

For more than a decade, Blanche Millsaps has been making sure an American flag is always seen, waving from the top of the Old Mississippi River bridge.

“Every time a flag goes up, you’d think you’d get used to it,” she said. “But, every time, it just makes your heart flutter.”

Millsaps became known as the “flag lady” 11 years ago, after the Vicksburg Bridge Commission honored her request to install a mast and lights and start flying Old Glory from the top of the center span, 110 feet above the span’s roadbed.

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Most of the flags have been donated to Millsaps’ cause, but she has bought some. They cost from $700 to $1,000 or more and usually need to be replaced every three to six months, depending on the wear and tear caused by the weather. No flag has been provided at public expense.

The flag was last replaced in February. A new one will be raised during the Old Mississippi River Bridge Jubilee Saturday.