Grand old flags

By , on July 3, 2018

How long does it take to place more than 2,000 American flags on the front lawn of the Lititz Moravian Church?

Church member and volunteer coordinator Manny Gonzalez was expecting that it would take at least two hours to put flags out in honor of the upcoming Fourth of July celebration in Lititz.

So on Saturday, June 30 at 8 a.m., he and three other volunteers got started with the monumental task.

People of all ages arrived last Saturday at 8 a.m. and did what they could to install the flags.

What Gonzalez wasn’t expecting was that from that point on, more than 30 more volunteers would show up to put out the flags. Some were seniors, while others were just a little more than toddlers. It took less than a half hour for the East Main Street lawn in front of the Lititz Moravian Church to be carpeted with flags.

“I can’t believe it went so fast. Thanks to all our helpers,” said Gonzalez, with a big smile on his face. Among the first to show up were Jerry and Karen Chase, who took on the task of punching holes in the ground and placing the flags into the holes. They used a special tool to make the holes, and there were two of them.

Manny Rodriguez (left) and veteran and Lititz resident Barry Lavender punch holes in the ground to secure some 2,000 American flags across the lawn of the Lititz Moravian Church.

The day before, volunteer Matt Good and Rodriguez had worked together to mark the spots with white chalk to show where the holes and then the flags would be placed. That gave them a good start before the volunteers arrived, ready to work. Good is credited with starting the Lititz tradition several years ago. Back then, he would almost single-handedly mark, make holes, and place some 4,000 flags in front of the church. It was a lot of work.

This year, the congregation at Lititz Moravian Church decided to give Good a break. Rodriquez volunteered to coordinate the workers. They put the flags up only on Moravian Church property, rather than adjacent property in front of Linden Hall.

“I see that everybody did a great job,” said Good, who stopped by and admitted that he tends to be a bit of a perfectionist. “It looks great.”

Area resident Kathy McCullough was happy to help, as was Trish Kohlasch, Barry Lavender, Barry Frey and many others.

“Manny is a friend of mine, and I am a member of Lititz Moravian Church. This is the church’s gift to the community,” said Frey. There were teenagers, young couples and even a few youngsters. Lara and David Reidenbaugh were happy to help and even their young daughter did her part.

It took less than a half hour for the East Main Street lawn in front of the Lititz Moravian Church to be carpeted with flags.

“I am retired from the U.S. Army and moved to Lititz in 2007. I am so happy to be a part of the community and to carry on this tradition at Lititz Moravian Church,” said Rodriquez. “This is what community is all about.”

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the pages of the Record Express. She welcomes feedback and story tips at

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