▶️ Local vets donate massive US flag to debut at Bend Lava Bears football game


A coalition of veterans groups around Central Oregon have raised the money to donate an American flag to the community. The 30-foot by 50-foot flag will debut on Sept. 22 when the Bend Lava Bears football team hosts Canby.

“It takes about 20 people or 20 kids in order to hold this baby up to show it off,” said Mark Wirges, an Oregon Band of Brothers member.

The players spent Tuesday afternoon learning how to fold and unfold the flag properly.

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“We’re going to unfold the flag for the first time formally, and we’re using the Bend High School varsity team,” member Bill Gabriel said. “It just gives you tingles when you see it.”

The players are coached by the veterans who helped make it happen, to ensure the Stars and Stripes are honored correctly.

“It represents everything that this country stands for,” Col. Mike Brock said. “Those that gave their lives, men and women, to have our country to be what it is.”

Brock was instrumental in obtaining the flag, he and the other veterans hope this flag becomes a staple for community events for decades to come.

“We’re just lucky, you know, and we’re lucky to have the support,” Gabriel said. “This is the best city I have ever seen. We ask them for money and they participate, they give to the veterans, and the veterans are giving it back.”


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