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He keeps Old Glory flying in Ripon
Allen Davis places them before dawns early light
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Allen Davis, a veteran of the 1st Calvary Jump Helicopter Air Mobile Unit places American flags along Ripon Main Street for some 20 holidays during the year. They go up before dawn and come down near sunset. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Allen Davis is the man responsible for the American flags being posted up and down Ripon’s Main Street for some 20 holidays during the year. 

Davis, 67, hauls the flags in his sedan and puts the poles into mounts provided by the city on its light poles before much of Ripon is awake. 

This is his sixth year of volunteering as a representative of the Ripon Veterans of Foreign Wars Post located on West Ripon Road. The VFW bought the flags and the city provided the brackets that its workers installed on the poles.

Davis said he likes to start before dawn to get the flags out and up with several people often coming by asking to help. 

“Others ask why I am putting the flags up and want to know the occasion,” he said.

He likes to get them up by about 5:30 a.m. when there is less traffic and less congestion on the city’s main thoroughfare. Many people give thumbs up or shout positive things as they drive by.

Davis recalls one retired Manteca fireman pulling up to the curb alongside of him on his brand new motorcycle – asking if he could help. He parked his bike and they walked down the sidewalk together putting up the flags. 

He and his wife Kim have two sons, Miles of Stockton and Dale of Susanville. Miles is a psychiatric technician at the new prison hospital on Arch Road in Stockton. Dale is a correctional officer at the High Dessert Prison.

“They both help me when they are in town,” he said. “It is a little harder for Dale because he lives farther away.”

Davis is also responsible for the unique flag pole standing in front of the VFW Post on West Ripon Road at Olive Avenue. The pole of his creation is complete with a yardarm that holds all the flags of the U.S. Armed Services from the Army to the Coast Guard as well as the black and white POW-MIA Flag. The Army vet recalled there were 58,000 troops killed in action in the Vietnam War and 8,000 missing in action.

It is only the second of two flag poles in the country that he is aware of, with the other being in front of the Department of Defense Building in Washington, D.C. Davis said he had to get a building permit from the county costing some $500 in fees. It also needed to be approved by a certified engineer using a wet seal stamp.

The base of the pole required a five foot diameter, four feet in depth , high strength cement anchor to support the 35-foot-high pole with its 13 foot yardarm end to end.

“It’s quite a pretty thing,” Davis quipped.

The first flag on the pole represents the Army followed by the Marines, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard, he said.

Following his service in the Army he was busy in heavy construction for a year before attending Shasta College in Redding where he picked up his AA in Industrial Arts and working professionally in that vocation. He joined the VFW in Ripon five years ago.