Theodore's World: The Avenue of the Flags

« Mafia's Response To Illegal Aliens | Main | BiBi Netanyahu Speaks About The Flotilla Attack »

June 01, 2010

The Avenue of the Flags

American flags for as far as the eye can see greet visitors as they enter the Hillcrest Memorial Park in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. The park is visited by people from all over the world.

The Avenue of the Flags: A Graphic Demonstration of American Patriotism

The Iranian hostage crisis triggered a resurgence of patriotism in our nation. Because not only 53 citizens, but America herself was held hostage for 444 days.

Hope and confidence were sustained by a renaissance of American patriotism. Nowhere in the country was this spirit more graphically demonstrated than in Hermitage, Pennsylvania with The Avenue of Flags.

These bright banners, each flag representing one day of captivity, became the internationally recognized symbol of American's support for the hostages and our hope for their safe return.

Eight members of our nation's armed forces gave their lives in the ill-fated attempt to rescue the prisoners. The citizens of Scranton joined Hermitage in expressing the national spirit by contributing a beautiful permanent monument in memory of these brave men, to be placed in The Avenue of Flags.

The days of captivity are over. The hostages have returned home to enjoy, once again, the freedom of life in the United States. But the memory of those fateful days and the fire of patriotism that they kindled live on.

At Hillcrest Memorial Park in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, the 444 banners of freedom still wave, and the eternal flame shines steadily before the monument to the eight who have their lives in the mission to free their countrymen. This patriotic display is open to the public year-round.


The Hermitage Historical Society

Over 1,000 flags were used to keep the flags flying during the original 444 days, as the flags needed to be replaced three to four time a year. All but 100 of these original flags were donated by supporters from all around the world. Most of them had once draped the casket of an American veteran. The flags represented periods in history from the Spanish-American War through the Vietnam conflict. One Canadian flag also flies on the Avenue in recognition of the Canadian embassy's help in saving six hostages from captivity and eventually returning them to freedom.

Donations of flags or money for the purchase of flags are still received. However, today most of the flags are purchased new by Hillcrest at an annual investment of over $12,000. The flags fly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but are lowered to half-mast for such solemn occasions as the Challenger space shuttle explosion.

On days when the sound of these 444 symbols of American pride can be heard flapping in the wind from a distance, visitors are filled with a sense of pride and remembrance of a time when America was held hostage, and many have been seen to leave the park with tears filling their eyes.


Wild Thing's comment.......

This is so special and really wonderful that they did this. I am thrilled too that they keep it going. Fantastic!!!

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at June 1, 2010 02:48 AM


It is something you never expect to see in a small city like Hermatage. When I first saw it I could hear the flags long before it even came into sight, then it was, wow, what an awesome display.

Posted by: Mark at June 1, 2010 09:09 PM

That is awesome Chrissie. Thank you Mark. God bless Hermatage.
I helped put up 285 flags and poles Sunday, each flag was from the coffin of a departed veteran. Looks like the same spacing in the photo too, 10 ft apart. There is a tremendous amount of work involved, once taken down each flag needs to be dry, thus I've been up drying and folding flags, before storing. The flags are personal property of the families who have graciously loaned them, my next door neighbor was over and was shocked at the pile of flags on my dining room table, all folded, he was taken aback when told each was a funeral flag.
Each flag is numbered for a corresponding pole and location at the cemetery. I have attended two very moving ceremonies on Sunday and Monday with two very different organizations. I'm tired but it was worth the effort. Yesterday's ceremony was emotionally rough, it was mostly Vietnam Veterans more than half of us had served from 67-69. Yeah we wept!!!
"Nearly all of us cried in Nam. None of us whined. Men and women cry. Puppies and spoiled brats whine. " - Captain William Van Zanten, 2nd Bn 4th Marines "The Magnificent Bastards"

Posted by: Jack at June 1, 2010 09:39 PM

Mark, oh wow, thank you soooo much for sharing that. o hear the Flags like that, I would have had goosebumps for sure.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 1, 2010 11:56 PM

Jack, a huge thank you for sharing about that. What a very special thing to do, wow, and for you to help and be a part of it. I am so glad you did that and for sharing about it, that means so much to me.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 2, 2010 12:02 AM