With ‘big flag’ unfurled: First glimpse gives Marco Island committee goose bumps; official raising set for May 28

Members of the Marco Island Big Flag Committee unfurl the island's first 12-by-18-foot flag at its Wednesday meeting. From left are committee members Keith Dameron, Dick Shanahan and Leo Sutera; Brandi Garwood, public works administrative assistant; Tim Pinter, public works director; committee chairman Dave Rice and committee member Litha Berger. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Members of the Marco Island Big Flag Committee unfurl the island's first 12-by-18-foot flag at its Wednesday meeting. From left are committee members Keith Dameron, Dick Shanahan and Leo Sutera; Brandi Garwood, public works administrative assistant; Tim Pinter, public works director; committee chairman Dave Rice and committee member Litha Berger. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

It's a touching moment for members of the Big Flag Committee as the first flag arrives on Marco Island. From left are Leo Sutera, Keith Dameron, Public Works Director Tim Pinter, committee chairman Dave Rice and Litha Berger, seated. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

It's a touching moment for members of the Big Flag Committee as the first flag arrives on Marco Island. From left are Leo Sutera, Keith Dameron, Public Works Director Tim Pinter, committee chairman Dave Rice and Litha Berger, seated. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Leo Sutera, right, of the Big Flag Committee thanks Lt. Col. Bill Howey of Hideaway Beach for raising $4, 900 from his community to support the committee's efforts. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Leo Sutera, right, of the Big Flag Committee thanks Lt. Col. Bill Howey of Hideaway Beach for raising $4, 900 from his community to support the committee's efforts. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

— Seeing the size and brightness of the first flag for Marco Island’s 50-foot flagpole at the foot of the Judge S.S. Jolley Bridge brought some misty eyes to members of the city’s Big Flag Committee on Wednesday.

“Oh my God, oh my God, it’s beautiful,” said committee member Lou Sutera.

The moment brought smiles of appreciation from Dave Rice, committee chairman, Keith Dameron, Dick Shanahan, Litha Berger and city staff. The committee plans to have its official flag raising ceremony on Memorial Day, May 28.

On hand to view the unfurling was Lt. Col. Bill Howey, a Hideaway Beach resident, who presented the committee with $4,900 in private donations from members of his gated community. Howey said he will continue collecting donations from his neighbors and friends until May 1.

To date, the committee raised $17,600, Dameron said. Most of that money has been earmarked for construction of the site and lighting for the flag. The committee had hoped to raise the flag after the pole was installed, anticipating adding lights at a later date. After checking with official etiquette rules, Dameron told the committee illumination would be required to fly the flag after dark.

Greg Schneider of Condee Cooling and Electric Company presented a proposal to install two 1,000-watt halide lights with shrouds at the base of the flagpole for $8,459. The shrouds would be custom made and all electric connections included in the cost.

City Council Chairman Larry Magel was present at the meeting and voiced concerns over the amount of light and its interference with traffic traveling over the Jolley Bridge. Schneider said he had worked on a site where an up-lit flag was close to a high-rise condominium.

No light was allowed to be seen when looking down from upper floors, he said. Schneider was able to eliminate light trespass through the use of shrouds and felt he could do the same close to the bridge.

“There’s no such thing as too much light for the American flag,” Schneider said.

If necessary, he could add a secondary shroud that would also enhance the attractiveness of the site by creating a landscape buffer. Shrouds can be designed to be self cleaning, removing dirt and insects from light bulbs when it rains, he said.

The committee agreed it would purchase a second shroud if needed to keep light from interfering with vehicular traffic.

Committee members discussed creating a contingency fund for future support of the flag, flagpole and emergency needs. All future costs for the project will be borne by private donations. No city funds have been spent on the flag project. The committee decided to determine the contingency fund amount at a future meeting.

Donations to the Big Flag Committee can be made payable to City of Marco Island Big Flag and mailed to City of Marco Island, 50 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island, FL 34145, Attention: Donna Senica. All donations are fully tax deductible.

The committee scheduled a workshop at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, to discuss plans for the first flag raising ceremony. Location for the meeting will be determined at a later date.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 13

Throat_Yogurt writes:

EVERY TIME I DRIVE OVER THE BRIDGE NOW, I'LL GET TO SEE MY TAX MONEY BLOWING IN THE WIND

naples_rocket writes:

in response to Throat_Yogurt:

EVERY TIME I DRIVE OVER THE BRIDGE NOW, I'LL GET TO SEE MY TAX MONEY BLOWING IN THE WIND

maybe if you just cleared your throat and head from all that yogurt and actually read the article, you might find out that all this deal was covered by private donations

RayPray writes:

Wrong flag:

http://www.picturesofchina.net/China-...

by these island dumb, dumber, & dumbest....

Wait for the first wind storm....

happy6 writes:

magel is an idiot

happy6 writes:

ooops...where has larry been? this has been discussed for over 1 year...big flag/where it goes/lighting it up etc etc...must have slept through all those discussions...

RayPray writes:

Since it's obvious the main problem facing Marco TODAY is the scarcity of vacuous patriot gesture, any flag only 50' big clearly tells the world that tells me that the big brains on this committee are all either crypto-commies of else al Qaeda acolytes.

With this in mind, the only real way for the geezers on thisd committee to prove to the rest of us that they might be genuine patriots & war heroes is to amplify this puny banner into some flag at least 200' big.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot writes:

What happens when the people from other countrys come over the bridge and begin complaining that this flag offends them?

Throat_Yogurt writes:

in response to naples_rocket:

maybe if you just cleared your throat and head from all that yogurt and actually read the article, you might find out that all this deal was covered by private donations

lmao

Throat_Yogurt writes:

Free America!

1Paradiselost writes:

God Bless America!

deltarome writes:

what happens when light is scattered by low fog?

2themoon writes:

What would have been nice if they put this flag project together and left the personalities out of it, but here on 'put my face in the paper island' that is impossible. Love old glory, it can never be big enough and it can never be flown enough.

2themoon writes:

Keith Dameron is the biggest publicity personality addict on this island, not a week goes by where his face isn't splattered all over the local publications. I've seen numerous articles where this guy mug or his name appears. Mr. Dameron high school is over please get on with your life, popularity is not the key to a happy successful life.

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