Veterans and motorcycle riders helped hoist a giant flag at the Perkins Restaurant in Gardner on April 25.
Members of the American Legion and American Legion Riders assisted in the brief event Friday morning. Several people, including members of the Gardner Police force, attended the ceremonial flag raising, which lasted just a few minutes on April 25. Several drivers pulled off to the side of the exit ramp leading to southbound Interstate 35 to watch as a several volunteers hoisted the 600-square-foot flag to its new perch.
The lead-up to the flag planting took much longer as the restaurant owners fought for a zoning variance to allow the flag in Gardner.
The Perkins opened its doors in February, before the board of zoning appeals approved the restaurant’s application for a variance. Gardner code typically allows 40-foot high flag poles.
Matt Rahfaldt, vice president of operations for the local Perkins franchise, said the restaurant will maintain flag protocol in its handling of the flag.
Shortly after being raised to its full height, the U.S. flag was lowered to half staff on April 25 in honor of former state Rep. Don Dahl. Dahl died in a plane accident on April 18.