Paxton flag

The 12-by-15-foot flag that is flown atop the Paxton fire department's ladder truck each year on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is much smaller than the 30-by-60-foot U.S. flag the fire department wants to put by I-57. 'It's like flying a house,' fire Chief Denny Kingren said of the 1,800-square-foot flag he hopes to install.

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PAXTON — Fundraising efforts to fly a huge American flag next to Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School have been chugging along for two weeks and racked up a healthy chunk of the goal, though its advertising campaign has yet to begin.

The Paxton Grand Old Flag Project, led by fire Chief Denny Kingren, will post a 30-by-60-foot American flag atop a 150-foot flagpole, right between PBL High and Interstate 57.

“People love to see large flags, and the one we fly at the school will be 10 times larger than the one we have now,” Kingren said.

Since Flag Day on June 14, supporters have been selling personalized bricks to fund the flag project. The bricks will be placed in the project’s walkway and the memorial structure surrounding the flag. The 4-by-8-inch bricks go for $100, while 8-by-8-inch bricks are $250 each.

As of Thursday, the Grand Old Flag Project has raised $4,945 of the $35,000 to $40,000 needed, with 20 brick purchases and several donations. According to Cody Kietzman, president of the Paxton Chamber of Commerce, the chamber and three other individuals have each pledged $1,000 to the project as well.

“I’ve been very pleased, we haven’t gotten the word out totally, but we’ve already raised nearly $5,000,” Kietzman said.

Those interested can purchase bricks at, or submit an order form to the Frederick Community Bank in Paxton.

Supporters who do not want to purchase a brick can send donations to the bank, through the nonprofit account “Paxton PRIDE.” To donate, checks may be written to “Paxton PRIDE” with “Grand Old Flag” or “Flag” in the memo line. Donations are tax-deductible.

Kietzman and Kingren will advertise the project through business flyers, a Facebook page and Chamber of Commerce promotional materials in the coming months. Kingren hopes to have the flag up by Flag Day 2020.