Idyllwild’s town flag has a history only a few people know, and the town nearly lost this tradition but for Daniel Crabtree II, an employee of the Idyllwild Chevron Station on Highway 243 in town.
For several years, the Idyllwild Fire Department staff would raise and lower the American flag at the flagpole on the southeast corner of Highway 243 and North Circle Drive. When the flag was stolen several years ago, Steve Friemoth of Idyllwild Garage/Chevron Station and Larry Donahoo of Village Hardware stepped up and replaced it.
The tradition continued with Chevron employees raising the flag in the morning and Village Hardware staff lowering it in the evening.
With harsh weather and time, the flag that waved so proudly over the community for many years was worn thin and retired by American Legion Post 800 members. A Legion member replaced that flag, and the tradition continued.
But recently, high winds swept through Strawberry Valley and the flag, battered and torn, was retired and for a time the tradition came to a halt. Employees asked Donahoo, who stopped in at the Chevron station, why a flag for them to raise had disappeared. “I told them we were waiting for a new one,” he said.
Crabtree, believing in the importance of continuing a long-standing Idyllwild tradition, volunteered to bring in a flag he had at home. But this was not just any flag; it had draped the coffin of his father who had served in the U.S. Army.
And, according to Crabtree, the flag that preceded his father’s flag and waved proudly for more than two years in Idyllwild, also had draped the coffin of a man who had served in the military.
“I discussed it with my sister and we agreed to donate the flag,” said Crabtree. “My dad would have been proud to have his flag waving over this town.”
Category: Idyllwild News