U.S. Flag Flies Extra High in Flint

The Mott Building operations supervisor explains his flag duties, ensuring the U.S. flag flies extra high in Flint, Michigan.

U.S. flag flies high

When the Federal government declares flags to fly at half-staff after a terrible tragedy, the highest flying flag in Flint, Michigan is no exception. And when it is raised to full staff once again, it soars over 200 feet above the Mott Foundation Building on Saginaw Street.

Billy Powell, the building operations supervisor, makes sure the stars and stripes are always flying in their proper position. On Monday April 22nd, Powell returned to the 16th floor to raise the U.S. flag back to full-staff.

Raising U.S. flag
Powell raises Old Glory in the wee morning hours.

Powell has now worked at the building for about 25 years and is well versed in proper flag etiquette. He says, “Whenever the flag is at half-staff, it should be lowered all the way down, then it should be brought back all the way to the top.” Powell can attribute his extensive flag knowledge to his time in the Marines and previous position as a Boy Scout Leader. He has also volunteered for the Girl Scouts.

Powell holds the American flag in very high respect. The one on Mott Building measures 10 feet by 20 feet and is made of nylon. Instead of lowering it every night, a very bright light makes sure the flag is always visible.

U.S. flag on Mott Building

However, the extra high altitude takes its toll on Old Glory, which needs to be replaces four times per year. When the time comes to change flags, Powell donates the tattered flag to the local veterans’ hall, which performs a proper retirement ceremony.

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Credit: MLive

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