The Caretaker Of The Large American Flag At Boji Bay Property Talks About Special Protocol & Precautions They Take In Flying It

Mon 6-29-2020

(Milford)-- The large American flag that can be seen on the Boji Bay property on the north edge of Milford is an icon for many as they pass by and is noticeably absent when it isn't flying. Marv Fernelius is a local resident who is a caretaker of the flag. He says in order to preserve the flag they have established protocol as to when to take it down...Fernelius01 

"Yes, it's very large. It's 38 feet long and 20 feet wide. And the flag flies at 90 feet in the air, so often the wind is more powerful at that height than it is down on the ground, and we try not to fly it in anything above 20 miles an hour because if we do it whips the flag badly and therefore tatters it and tears it."

Fernelius says they pay close attention to the forecast every day for any mention of high wind...Fernelius02 

"And at that time then we'll take it down ahead of time because a less flying flag, a windy flag, is easier to take down than that is in extreme conditions. If it's extreme conditions like that it's almost impossible to grab the flag. We try to keep the flag from touching the ground and in that condition it's very tough. It will pick up a full grown person and throw them off the ground."

Fernelius adds the flag can be repaired, but he says that can only be done to a certain extent...Fernelius03 

"We tend to get about a year, sometimes a little bit longer, out of each flag. When they tatter, and we're not supposed to fly according to protocol a tattered flag, when they tatter we bring them down and we have our local upholsterer here in Milford cut the flag down a little bit and put a new seam on the end. But he can only do that perhaps a couple times because the percentage of length of the stripes must be considerably longer than the length of the stars. So after a little while he cannot do that any more."

Fernelius says a new flag of that size costs a little more than $1,000.

Fernelius says they also store the flag indoors during rainy weather to prevent it from molding.

The flag pole was originally added to the property by the previous owners, the Wells family, in 2015. The gearing and cables are housed inside the pole, which is set in nine feet of concrete in the ground to keep it stable.

The Boji Bay flag is one of three large American flags that can be seen flying at the Highway 71 and 86 junction.