TROY — A Troy resident is collecting funds to raise the Stars and Stripes on West Main Street once again.
Retired educator Charles “Chuck” Karnehm said he missed seeing the American flag fly as he passes through the west side of Troy. He inquired about the flag being gone while at Taco Bell one day and learned the flag pole and land was owned by the city of Troy.
Karnehm said, “It’s one of those good feeling memories, driving up and down Main Street and you’d always see the flag in front of Perkins. It was also a neat sight as you go over the interstate back into town and see the American flag. This country needs something to feel good about … seeing that American flag … I really enjoyed seeing it.”
He then engaged in conversations with the city of Troy Board of Park Commissioners and Park Superintendent Jeremy Drake to see what it would take to bring back Old Glory to West Main Street. Some research and estimates were obtained to rebuild the internal pulley system of the flag pole and to purchase new flags for approximately $5,000. He received permission to raise the funds for the project from the park board and a fund has been established at the Troy Foundation specifically for this project.
Drake said the flag pole has not been used since the Perkins restaurant closed. Drake said the restaurant used to replace the flags and maintain the pole until it closed. Neither the city nor Taco Bell assumed maintenance of the pole and no longer replaced the flags. Drake said flag pole lighting and electrical components are now outdated and need replaced. Drake said he is hopeful the $5,000 needed will be raised to replace the components to make the flag pole functional once again as well as the cost of replacement flags, which typically need changed out every four to six months.
“I commend Mr. Karnehm on his efforts to once again fly a flag on the West Main Street pole,” Drake said. “West Main Street sees a lot of traffic and having a large flag once again being displayed as people pass by will make a positive impact.”
Donations are currently being accepted by the Troy Foundation online at https://thetroyfoundation.org/donate or The Troy Foundation at 216 W. Franklin Street, Troy, OH 45373 and designate the gift as “West Main Street Flag Fund.”
Karnehm said he’s willing to speak to community organizations and clubs about his efforts. To contact Karnehm for more information, email him at email@example.com or call (937) 524-1517.