American flags hang from houses in every little hamlet across this country.
People even fly them from car windows.
Jeremy Friestad found a unique place to fly a flag. The longtime Payson resident put one on a high peak on the side of State Route 87 between Payson and Pine.
Well, three, actually. The first two couldn’t stand the weather.
“I went to check on it for 9/11 and it had blown down,” Friestad said. “I went up there like three days before, so I didn’t want to go back that soon. But it was 9/11, and I wanted to make sure it was standing.
“It was laying there, and I had to re-secure it with bailing wire and restitch it onto the pole because the wind is so violent up there. You can hear it from a mile away whipping in the wind.”
He placed his first flag, a 3-foot-by-5-foot nylon flag, in the spot on Nov. 17, 2018. It lasted until January, when he replaced it with a cotton flag of the same size. The newest flag is a 7-by-10 triple-stitched embroidered cotton blend he hopes lasts longer.
“I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to secure each one. I’m trying to figure out the combination,” he said of the size, material and mounting elements. “I even got this latest one UV treated.”
He said he’ll probably start checking on it more often.
“I should probably go up every week and check on it because it’s one of the more beautiful spots I’ve found,” he said.
He installed two solar lights to make it visible at night.
Unemployed and looking for “new adventures” after 10 years working for the county, Friestad discovered the spot by accident.
“I’ve always just loved that peak because it’s so pronounced,” he said. “I go up there to pray, meditate, enjoy the view and just center myself.”
He’s found unexpected things up there.
“I found petrified sea shells, which is unbelievable that high up,” he said.
But why place a flag there? He said he just believes in what the flag represents.
“The only connection I have with the flag is people love our country enough to fight for our freedom and just the freedom we have in Jesus,” he said. “If we all just had a kind word to say to each other, we wouldn’t have so much death and destruction.”