Old Glory Flying High at Madison Heights Business
Madison Heights, VA - Old Glory is the most recognizable symbol of the Fourth of July holiday, and few fly the American flag better than one Central Virginia business.
"It's kind of a landmark. People ask us where we are, and we tell them, 'Just under the big flag.' Oh, yeah, we've seen that," said Tony McBride.
McBride owns McBride Signs in Madison Heights. The flag in the sky is his; he's been maintaining it through rain and shine for 15 years now.
But it was not his idea to put it up - it was his father's, the second generation to own the sign shop and a Marine himself.
The flag up Thursday is brand new for this holiday.
"We wanted to make sure we had a nice, new crisp flag flying on this day, because this is Independence Day and that's the number one symbol of Independence," said McBride.
Rising 125 feet in the air, it takes four grown men 3.5 hours to put up.
"When one of the guys is standing beside it, the flag on the star is half as tall as they are," said McBride.
Scott McBride will be the 4th generation to own McBride signs.
Oh man, when we were first put that up, I was a kid," he said.
The flag-flying tradition gets pricey - about $5,000 a year because they have to change it out twice a year.
And to maintain it means time away from the sign business. But when Scott's at the helm here, he has every intention to keep the tradition alive.
"It's a subject of pride for us, you know," said Scott McBride.
"As long as we can afford to, we'll fly the flag," said Tony McBride.