Flags fly all over Coronado, in front of public buildings, storefronts and people’s homes. On federal holidays they flutter along Orange Avenue.
Miles Harvey and Ed Martin noticed one thing that was missing – a flag at the foot of the old ferry landing, and not just any flag, but one that could be seen for miles.
“It was Miles' idea,” said Martin, who was held captive in Vietnam for nearly six years after being shot down, then rose to become Deputy Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe.
“He was inspired by the flags placed along Orange Avenue on patriotic days, such as the Fourth of July and Veterans Day, by the Rotary Club,” Martin continued. “We thought a large flag in Centennial Park would be a capstone for those flags on those days,” he said.
They envisioned a 15-by-25 foot flag hoisted on an 80-foot pole, lit by four lights, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The size would make it visible across San Diego Bay.
“It would bring pride to sailors aboard cruisers, carriers and battleships returning home,” Martin said. It would also be “a wonderful way to show the pride and the patriotism of the city of Coronado.”
Martin and Harvey took the idea to the Port District, which manages the land, but were turned down. While the staff thought the idea was commendable, they said they didn’t have the funds. They estimated the project would cost around $50,000.
While the pole and flag aren’t expensive, there are regulatory hurdles, such as environmental reports, that would be necessary and would drive up costs, Martin explained.
The flag installation has the full support of the city, Martin said. Mayor Casey Tanaka and the City Council are on board, but they cannot do much to advance the cause.
Coronado cannot study or push for projects on state tidelands managed by the Port, according to the city.