by Jessica Warzeniak
Old Glory, The Red, White and Blue, The Star Spangled Banner, no matter what you call it, the American Flag is a symbol of our country, patriotism, and sacrifice. In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th to commemorate the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. On Flag Day, and throughout National Flag Week – the week of June 14th – Americans are urged to fly the flag. This simple act of patriotism continues throughout the year and Cardinal Honda, Groton, is making it easier.
Stan Cardinal, president and owner, started the Cardinal Honda Flag Loaner Program five years ago. A unique concept, the dealership has five sizes of flags, from 6 feet by 10 feet to 25 feet by 40 feet, available for the community to borrow at no cost.
“We always had a flag pole in front of Cardinal Honda and we were always loaning flags,” says Stan. “The first time we loaned a flag was when Sonalysts Studios opened in Waterford 17 years ago. At the grand opening, it was one of our flags hanging on the side of the building.”
The transition to a formal program was an easy decision. “We find it is very helpful for community organizations to borrow flags from us,” says Stan. “The flags can be costly and organizations can’t afford to buy them for one time use. That’s where Cardinal Honda can help. This is just a little bit that we can do to keep the spirit of American patriotism alive within these groups.”
The flags are available for use in parades, as back drops for performing arts stages, special events, functions, and much more. Most recently, the flags were used for fallen Marine Lance Corporal Tyler Griffin’s memorial procession, fundraising events for Operation Lobster Dinner, and local Memorial Day parades. “We are very fortunate to be located on the coast and have so many sea going services in our area. These include the Coast Guard, Maritime Services and the Naval Submarine Base – all have utilized the Cardinal Honda Flag Loaner Program for their formal and professional events,” says Stan. “At Cardinal Honda, we are honored to be able to be a part of their events and loan our flags to them.”
Perhaps, one of the most prestigious events a Cardinal Honda flag was borrowed for was the 2008 reopening of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. David Winters, Executive Vice President of the Museum, heard of the flag loaner program and contacted Stan. He needed a very large flag, very quickly. Stan saved the day by graciously lending the Intrepid a 20 foot by 38 foot American flag.
For more information or to reserve a flag for your organization, contact Bernadette Drennen, by calling 860.449.0411 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.