Bob Banghart and George Fischer remove the state flag of Wisconsin during the annual deflagging of Egan Drive. The city employees and local volunteers removed the banners from streetlights along Egan Drive on Sunday, marking the end of the cruise ship season. It was 33 years ago that Juneau Mayor Bill Overstreet started the idea of flying all 50 state flags. At the time, a local columnist Rudy Ripley, now 75, wrote it was a great idea in his television guide column Rap With Rip. The next time Overstreet saw Ripley, he told him since he thought it was such a great idea he should oversee it. Since then, Ripley has been coordinating the flying and removal of the 50 flags. "It's always a big pleasure for people to see their state flag up there," Ripley said. "Just to look at them flying all spring and summer is nice for me, I like flags ... they are colorful. That was a good idea Mayor Overstreet had. We decided to do it on Egan Drive because it works out really well, all the buses go by and the tourists are looking for their flags. The first year was lame, just seven flags, don't remember which ones..... we had to build the hardware, climbing up and down, getting funds ... but we got to 50," he added.
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