Mysterious daredevil plants American flag on public land, too high to be removed

This American flag is flying high.

And it’s going to stay that way for a while.

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Photo Credit: Coeur d’Alene Press

The stars and stripes that showed up mysteriously atop a tall ponderosa pine tree along Interstate 90 in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests – on Fourth of July Pass as a matter of fact – is too high for even professional tree climbers to reach, a forest spokesman told the Coeur d’Alene Press.

“We have no idea how it got up there,” spokesman Jay Kirchner said. “It’s on the tip-top of the tree and I can’t imagine it would hold the weight of a person holding onto it.”

And it’s not just the flag that’s up there. The patriotic daredevil (could there have been more than one?) who risked life and limb getting to the top of the tree was also thoughtful enough to attach a bright light, making the banner visible at night from Interstate 90, the Press reported.

(For the flag code junkies out there, night flying is allowed: “when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.”)

Presumably Idaho forest officials are as patriotic as the next forestry guys, but public lands are public lands and they don’t want to encourage freelancers decorating the landscape any which way. Professional tree climbers were dispatched to look into the situation and take the flag down.

No soap.

“It’s just too dangerous for them,” Kirchner said. “To get up on that skinny part of the tree that high up would just be too risky. Since it’s not hurting anything, we are going to leave it up there for now. It’s not worth the risk.”

Besides who actually put the flag there, the only sure thing Kirchner said about when the flag went up is that it was reported by a caller about a month ago – that would put it in July.

So an American flag went up some time in July, in an American heartland place called Fourth of July Pass, and it was put there by someone who knows the rules and regulations when it comes to the flag. And no one is sure when it got there.

Anybody want to take a guess?

“We applaud and respect this individual’s display of patriotism,” Kirchner said. “But they did this on public land and we don’t want more people putting up displays on public land.”

Wanna bet most of the public thinks it’s just fine?

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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