Two Tucson men are on a mission to raise Old Glory on bare flagpoles throughout Tucson.
Flags for the Flagless was started a couple of months ago by Tucson police officers Charley Foley and Bradley Clark, who have noticed numerous unused flagpoles while on patrol.
Foley came up with the idea after visiting a friend in California who volunteers with a veterans organization.
“It got me thinking, ‘What can I do to give back to my community besides being a cop?’ I’m driving around and I see all these flagpoles in this city that are bare for whatever reason. Each flagpole has got to have a different story as to why it isn’t being used,” Foley said.
In a small area near downtown, Foley counted 32 poles without flags.
“Somebody years ago thought it was a good idea to put that flagpole up for whatever reason, but these flagpoles are not being used,” said Foley, who has a family history of military service.
He and Clark, a 20-year combat Army veteran, talked it over and decided to ask local business owners if they could raise flags on their unused poles.
The first business they approached was Benjamin Plumbing Supply, housed in the historic multistory Tucson Warehouse and Transfer building at 440 N. Seventh Ave., near East Sixth Street .
The men learned the rooftop flagpole became inaccessible when old wooden stairs leading to it had rotted away. Once Foley and Clark explained their mission, the owner replaced the stairs and put in rooftop lighting so the Star Spangled Banner can be flown at night, Foley said.
The men raised the flag at a ceremony Saturday morning to coincide with Flag Day.
Foley was tight-lipped about the next building that may receive a flag, but he and Clark are taking donations of new flags and funds to buy pulleys and cables so the installations do not cost business owners any money.