Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Brooklyn Bridge's flag man

From the Daily News:

Old Glory can't be torn on the Fourth of July. [Cesar] Pazmino, who works for the Department of Transportation's bridge painting crew, has for the past 16 years maintained the flags that flutter atop the [Brooklyn Bridge]'s 273-foot towers, replacing them when they get faded or frayed. He also lowers the banners in times of mourning.

To prevent accidents, he's tethered and works with a partner. He and his cohort, Vlatko Zic, have one mantra: "Never let the flag touch the ground."

It takes about 90 minutes to replace a flag, which is usually freshened every three months, but it depends on the weather. "A stretch of bright sunny days will bleach out the flags, and the wind really tears them up," says Pazmino, who lives in Queens, not far from where he grew up.

Like his two sons, the DOT employee has served in the military. He's proud of his part in keeping the Stars and Stripes looking its best, especially at this time of year. "The flag represents us," he says. "It's our freedom."


Anonymous said...

When i see that flag the pride makes my eyes swell up. When i look to the side,the hole in the skyline does the same..........

Anonymous said...

Pity the Queens pols were simply too stupid to insist that they be put back on the Queensboro Bridge.

That would have been a sight to behold.

Regina said...

Stories like this and holidays like the 4th make me think of the "flag man" that stands on bridges along Queens highways and waves flags at the passing cars. I get such a kick out of seeing him, in part because spotting him is so random-I have not seen him in awhile-anyone know anything about him?

Anonymous said...

Now all we need are a few more people who actually put our country first. It is a shame that ego mania has become the new epidemic disease.

Respect for country, community and family, what a concept!

Anonymous said...

Regina, there was a story about him in the NYT a few years ago. He lives in the Bronx, if I remember correctly, and does his thing every day - and not just in Queens. Immigrant, wanting to show gratitude and appreciation to his adopted country. Sorry I don't remember any more details from the article.