This is the 19th time the Chamber has put out flags in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks.
On Sept. 11, American flags on Longboat Key flew at half-mast. But closer to the ground, 2,997 miniature American flags fluttered proudly in the breeze on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
It was the 19th time the Public Works Department put them up on behalf of the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce. Since 2003, the tradition has been to put the flags out on Sept. 10 and take them down on the morning of Sept. 12. Chamber President Gail Loefgren envisioned the flag tradition and made it happen with the help of the Public Works Department and Ace Hardware. The only times the flags haven't been put out were in 2004 and 2017 for Hurricanes Ivan and Irma, respectively.
The flags marched up the east side of Gulf of Mexico Drive for all 11 miles of the Key, starting exactly after the New Pass Bridge on the south end and going all the way up to the southern edge of the Longboat Pass Bridge on the north end. Each flag is about 20 feet away from the next, said Streets, Facilities, Parks & Recreation Manager Mark Richardson. It takes his team about five hours to put out every flag.
Several residential communities, including Beachcomber, Club Longboat and Longboat Harbour also put out their own American flags along Gulf of Mexico Drive.
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