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A glimpse of normal

CCA continues a patriotic tradition near Oxford
A large American flag flaps in the strong breeze on Wednesday, April 22, near Oxford. The 20-foot by 30-foot flag continues a tradition, started by Don Hummer Trucking, at the Clear Creek Amana Community School District’s Administrative Offices, formerly Hummer’s headquarters, at the intersection of Highway 6 and Upper Old Highway 6. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

OXFORD– A common cliché heard frequently in this time of viral pandemic is “the new normal.” In a time of traditions such as going to church, high school graduations, RAGBRAI and the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival all being cancelled or prohibited, some glimpses of normal, or tradition, can still be found. For example, the large American flag still flies over the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District’s Administrative Offices, at the intersection of Highway 6 and Upper Old Highway 6, just north of Oxford.
The district purchased the building, formerly the offices of Don Hummer Trucking, last year after outgrowing the office space in Oxford. Hummer moved to a new headquarters in Cedar Rapids.
“The original (large) flag was installed by Don Hummer,” said CCA’s Buildings and Grounds Director Maury Gallagher.
A much smaller, more standard-sized flag was flown briefly, he said.
“We flew the standard sized flag only during the time it took to make needed repairs. The rope was weak and ready to break, and new hooks and retainer rings needed to be installed prior to flying such a large flag. We had the repairs done and I had it flying for Memorial Day Weekend last year. So it’s been flying consistently for almost a year now.”
The flag measures 20-foot by 30-foot, Gallagher said.
“Installing the flag is definitely an adventure if the wind picks up,” he noted.
Wind is also a challenge once the flag is up, he added.
“We’ve replaced it out three times since then. The wind is extremely hard on this size of flag.”
A flag so large is hard not to notice, of course, and when the much smaller flag was flying, it was also noticed.
The district’s Communications Director Laurie Haman said, “We did hear from several people in the community upset when they saw our temporary little flag because they thought the school was discontinuing the tradition of the large flag. The flag has a community impact and the tradition is important to them.”
According to Gallagher and District Superintendent Tim Kuehl, the district and Hummer were in full agreement the large flag would continue to fly, even before the purchase of the building was finalized.
“Don Hummer asked about the district continuing to display the large flag, and we were planning to anyway. It wouldn't seem ‘right’ to not have it displayed there,” Kuehl said.