This year represents the 32nd year that Friends of the Flags has been in Juneau. Visitors, as well as locals, have enjoyed the mixed colors of flags flying during the summer seasons. It was Mayor Bill Overstreet's idea that the capital of Alaska have the 50 state flags in a prominent place, which turned out to be Egan Drive. Rudy Ripley told him that he thought it was a great idea, resulting in his becoming chairman of the project.
Friends of the Flags has annual fund raisers in the spring to keep the project going.
The donations buy new flags each year. The wind and the rain take its toll, with a quarter of the flags frayed and other deficiencies sustained. Those who would like see the flags flying next year may donate to Friends of the Flags, P.O. Box 32201, Juneau, AK 99803.
Volunteers at this spring's flag raising were George Fisher, who operated the 42-foot man lift, with Bob Banghart, helper, in the bucket. The ground men were Pete Serrano, Jim Carroll, Hal Cleek, Hans Mercer and Ripley.
Juneau Police Department officer Rebecca Notmeyer, with her patrol car, managed traffic control helping insure the safety of volunteers and motorists.
Chatham Electric, which was under contract to replace two light standards at Whittier Street and Egan Drive a few days before FOTF's were scheduled to install flags, didn't realize that the brackets on the old flagstaffs would not fit the new light standards, as the poles were considerably larger.
Ralph Kibby, owner of Chatham, when contacted by Ripley, offered to fabricate larger bands so the old brackets would fit the new poles. His men attached the brackets on the new poles the day before the scheduled flag raising, alleviating a delay in getting all the flags installed.
The Department of Transportation provided the safety signs and cones.