Ventura Councilmember Jim Monahan, who led the “2007 Pledge Drive” to restore the flag displays in Midtown, Downtown and the Westside, says that the program is only possible through the generosity of donors: “Three years ago, we were able to raise enough funds to raise the Stars and Stripes above our streets in Ventura. We worked in partnership with local organizations, but we couldn’t have done it without the many families and businesses that sent in their donations toward the flag display.” Monahan noted that he hopes the program – which is intended to honor veterans for their service – can be expanded to include California Street, which is highly visible to motorists exiting the freeway into Downtown.
Three years ago Councilmember Jim Monahan asked the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 952 for help. He was able to provide all the flags needed for Midtown, Downtown and the Westside of Ventura, but did not have the ability to put them up. The IBEW quickly agreed to help out in any way possible. The Business Manager Shane Werner reached out to Taft Electric Company for the use of a boom truck to install the flags.
The American Flags are installed before Memorial Day and taken down after Labor Day. The guys responsible for putting and taking down the flags have been Shane Werner, Jeff Bode and Jason Skyllingstad. This would not be possible without their willingness to take their own time and install the American Flags which takes six to seven hours starting at midnight.
The flag display is made possible through a partnership with Gary Parker, owner of American Flags and Cutlery located at 305 E. Main Street, Ventura CA 93001. American Flags and Cutlery is the only American flag store in Ventura County and sell flags that are made in America.
Donors from past drives include Rabobank, Lowe's Home Improvement, Denny's Restaurant, The Benchwarmer, Avenue Hardware, Southern California Edison, Rotary Club of Ventura, Ventura Elks Lodge No. 1430, the American Legion Post 339, Ventura's Downtown Lions Club, a local Ventura Girl Scout Troop, neighborhood groups such as the Westside Community Council, and numerous families and individuals.