Old Glory crowns new flag pole at Bell Tower Green

Published 12:10 am Friday, May 26, 2023

SALISBURY — An American flag is going to fly over the entrance to the Bell Tower Green park, and it should be up and flying Friday morning.

“The veterans will have a flag raising at 10 a.m. (Friday),” said Mayor Karen Alexander, who had said she hoped to have the flag up by Memorial Day.

Whether or not to place a flag in the park was subject to ongoing debate over the last year, with local veterans organizations pushing the Salisbury City Council to install the flag and some in the community pushing back.

There is a flag in place outside the front of the Rowan County office building on West Innes Street, and another has been installed outside the Rowan County Public Library on Fisher Street. Many in the community felt that was enough.

And members of the Bell Tower Green Advisory Committee, created after the ownership of the park was transferred to the city, did have some concerns that adding the flag would interfere with both the design plans, and would encourage other groups to request changes to the park. The city council asked the committee to make the question of putting in the flag a top priority, though.

And in the end, the committee recommended and city agreed to install a flag at the unofficial entrance to the park, on the corner of Church and West Innes, much to the veterans’ delight.

A second snag occurred when the provider of the flag pole was, in the end, unable to provide the actual pole in matching material to the two existing poles. After the hole for the base had already been dug, the city Public Works department had to go back at the end of May to re-dig a different size hole for a replacement pole the city was able to find.

“We’ve been out working like mad to get this ready,” said Public Works Director Chris Tester. “We’ve had to change the hole a bit, and I understand there were a few hiccups getting the pole, but we are doing our best to get ready so they can get it in.” The pole was in place by 6 a.m. Thursday morning, May 25, and a test run of the flag was made before bringing it down.