In reaction to a news story we had about the City of Rhinelander no longer flying the large American Flag downtown people, for the most part, were angry. They are right to a point. First of all, it was one of the first things you saw when coming into downtown. And it was BIG! But it also created problems.
First, a little history. AT&T wanted to locate a cellphone tower downtown and the City Council and then Mayor Dick Johns said the only way they’d allow it was if it would fly the flag. Up went the tower and the flag with it. That’s when the troubles set it, too. Remember, it’s a tapered tower, not a flag pole.
The original flag was too large, putting too much stress to the top of the structure, which was dangerous. In 2012 the decision was made to drop the colors in the winter months because of problems. At one point, it couldn’t be dropped to half-mast because the flag was stuck, with the tethers tangled. Remember, it’s a tapered tower, not a flag pole.
Now, the council, by resolution, will not fly the flag because of the problems and potential liability. Recently the Park City Credit Union, which is almost directly beneath the tower, was getting littered with pieces falling off. It’s a safety issue and remember…well, you know.
So, now what? There’s a tall cell tower on the downtown landscape and AT&T gets a pass on flying the flag, when it was part of the deal. Can they put up a, “real” flag pole for us? They certainly have a lot more money than the City of Rhinelander does! Maybe at the courthouse? Centrally located and not interfering with the tower. Food for thought. I, for one am glad people liked seeing Ol’ Glory flying proudly over our city. I was. There’s an idea out there somewhere for a replacement.