It took a couple of weeks --- but thanks to Rex, who added the necessary clips early this week, both the U.S. and Iowa flags now are flying from the Sesquicentennial flag pole on the Lucas County Historical Society museum campus.
You may remember, since I've written about it before, that the 30-foot pole was funded with money that remained in the 2007 Chariton Sesquicentennial Fund once that celebration was over. It was commissioned during a brief program at the museum on Sunday, Sept. 27.
The plan always had been to fly both the U.S. and Iowa flags, but only enough clips to hoist the U.S. flag arrived with the pole and there wasn't time to add extra clips before the Sept. 27 ceremony. That's been taken care of now and it looks great --- especiallly if you drive straight at it westbound on Braden Avenue.
A solar-powered lamp at the top of the pole illuminates the flag at night --- and there's a cautionary tale here for anyone thinking of putting up a flag pole, especially a very tall one. It involves: Reading. The. Instructions. Which we didn't --- although the lamp had arrived weeks before it was installed and had been sitting in the museum office during the interim.
So we finally got around to reading the instructions just before the guys from GM Builders & Son were preparing to attach it and hoist the whole thing into place --- not something you want to do more than once.
We found out that we were supposed to have charged the solar battery by leaving the lamp exposed to sunlight for 24 hours before installation because --- in part --- there was no way to tell if the switch was "off" or "on" unless you carried the lamp into a dark place and checked it out. Which we couldn't do, because it wasn't charged.
Since the pole had to go up, we guessed --- Oh heck, we've got a 50 percent chance of being right. Unfortunately, we were at the 50 percent "wrong" end of the spectrum. The lamp was "off."
So Linda Baynes called our friends at Alliant Energy and they came with a bucket truck to turn it on --- but the switch, once the lamp had been installed, couldn't be reached. So the golden ball at the top of the pole and the attached lamp were taken down, carried into a darkened room, turned on, proved to be fully charged --- and then re-installed.
This actually took a few days, since the right people weren't in the right place when the lamp came down. But the Alliant guys came back promptly when Kathleen called them --- and now all is well.
We're flying both flags --- and they're lighted at night. So come dance around the flag pole any time you like. Or maybe just drive by.