Irving Great Flag Caper continues in its 31st year as people show their patriotism

It’s 4th of July weekend, and residents in Irving are showing their patriotism by planting flags in a tradition that’s grown for more than 30 years.

It’s the Great Flag Caper. In its 31st year, there will be more than 40,000 American flags planted in front of businesses, places of worship, and homes to celebrate our Independence Day.

What started as flags in Nell Anne Hunt’s yard ended up as a way to give back to her community, with the whole town now painted red, white, and blue. 

"Everybody liked it so much, that the next year, I bought 400 flags and went twice as far," Hunt recalled. "And then the neighborhood came to me, and said we really like this, we want to do the whole neighborhood."

The Great Flag Caper evolved into a non-profit with mostly private funding and more than 300 volunteers.

"It’s a reflection to history. We try to keep the revolution going the love for history," participant James Butler said.


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The project's base is Hunt's home. 

Mirna Hernandez, whose son served as in the U.S. Marines, has been involved for three years.  

"We do want to show our patriotism and support them. Like I said, it’s this little flag, our beautiful flag that we have something that I know it’s around all over the world and people see it and they think freedom and I want to get there," she said.

Roy Getting said he’s determined to help, despite the heat.

"It looks like the ground is so hard that the drill is having a hard time drill into it. So all these 100 degree days are getting to us," he said.

He’s hoping to pass on that freedom is something they still need to fight for.

"Everybody tries to identify with a political party. This country wasn’t founded on political parties. It’s founded on freedom," he added.  

Hunt said there’s always work to be done to show we’re all equal under the American flag. 

"We’re so grateful for our country and many of us that we’re born here, it was just a fortunate thing, and others that come here under great difficulty because this is the beacon on the hill," Hunt said.

So why has the celebration continued?  Organizers said it’s to recognize we don't live in America, but instead, America lives in us. 

There will also be a potluck Monday, before the flags are set to be taken down on the July 6.