Army-Navy Club of Vicksburg temporarily halts river bridge flag program
Restrictions placed on the size of gatherings as part of the response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus has placed a hold on a long-time and cherished tradition in Vicksburg.
The Army-Navy Club of Vicksburg has suspended its sponsored flag program that places American flags on the Old Mississippi River Bridge. The decision came after the latest sponsor decided to postpone the ceremony because of the guidelines that restrict the size of gatherings to no more than 10 people.
“We had a sponsor’s flag that was supposed to go up next week, and I told them we could do it,” Army-Navy Club project chairman Lewis Decell said. With this limited number, Decell said, the family decided to wait so they could have more family attend.
With the thought this could be the case for others who are sponsoring a flag, Decell decided to put everything on hold.
This, however, will not prevent a new flag from taking its place high atop the historic bridge.
“We are going to put a flag on the bridge, but it will not be a sponsored flag,” Decell said.
The current flag has been flying for three months and has begun to get ragged, Decell said, so bridge superintendent Herman Smith is going to help the club replace the flag.
“I have a club flag we bought years ago for emergencies,” Decell said.
Once the restrictions on gatherings have been lifted, Decell said the program will be reactivated.
The idea to fly a flag on top of the bridge was first suggested by Vicksburg resident Blanche Millsaps, who was inspired by a similar program she had seen in Washington State.
The first flag was flown in 1994. The Army-Navy Club of Vicksburg took over the project after Millsaps’ death.
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