50 Flags Campaign For The 4th Of July Will Continue
By Kristen Arute, May 13, 2020
Although the 4th of July Parade, the Road Race and the Fireworks have been cancelled this year due to public health concerns, the 50 Flags Campaign will continue and will be covering the town in even more red, white and blue. "We got just over 15,000 flags which is up from 13,000 last year," said Committee Co-Chair Tom Hoffman. "This year it is really one of the few ways to show your patriotism."
The Committee is doing some things a little bit differently this year. "Because of social distancing guidelines, we are giving people the option to install themselves," said Tom. "We will provide people with the instructions on how to install and maintain them, and then we will come around and pick them up." Also, given the fact that the 4th of July falls on a Saturday, the flags will be put up for two weeks. Installation will take place the weekend of June 27th and 28th, and the flags will be removed on the weekend of July 11th and 12th.
There are some installations that will take place earlier though. In honor of National Law Enforcement Day, Tom will place fifty flags in front of the police station. The following Friday, he will install flags at the Veterans' Home on Fort Hill Street, all three fire stations and the park at the Lincoln statue. Also, in recognition of Hingham's 385th birthday, 385 flags will go up at Town Hall. "One year I set my daily step record," quipped Tom. "My FitBit said I did 31,000 just going out and installing flags. Believe me, at the end of the day I had to put the feet up."
In past years, the Committee has used high school students to help with the installation process. "It's a major logistical operation to put teams of people together and assign them addresses to go to," said Tom. Between the high school football, field hockey and rowing teams and the best buddy program, a total of 14-15 groups go out to around 300 different locations. It's very helpful, but the Committee isn't the only one that benefits. The students who participate get community service hours, and the boosters organizations for their sports teams get some of the proceeds. Twenty percent of the total raised is put into a donation pool that is divided up among them, and the balance goes into the Parade Committee fund. In addition to the high school athletes, Tom also hopes to include families from the youth football team he coaches.
For a donation of $75, you can have fifty flags placed at your Hingham home, business or place of worship. Flags can also be donated to someone else in Hingham, like a friend or family member. The deadline for mail-in orders is Friday, June 13th; however, online orders are being encouraged. All online orders need to be placed by June 21st and can be submitted by clicking here. Questions about Hingham's 4th of July activities can be directed to Hingham4th@gmail.com.