Bayberry Lane neighborhood shows patriotic pride

| June 29, 2018

The Bayberry Lane neighborhood is decked out in American Flags for the Fourth of July thanks to a project started years ago by Mike Wilson. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – For the past 18 to 20 years Bayberry Lane residents have been showing their patriotic pride thanks to a special project started by Mike Wilson.

“I retired from work in 2000 and I remember sometime around then being in Dover with my wife and driving down this street that had flags on both sides of it,” Wilson said. “I told my wife that was a neat idea so I walked Bayberry Lane and asked everybody if I got the flags would they allow me to put them on their property. Everyone said yes, but one house.”

He then figured out how many flags would be needed for each home and took that total to Annin Flag to see if they would help with the project.

“I knew Rick Merrell (the plant manager at that time) and told him what I wanted to do,” Wilson said. “I asked how much he would charge for the flags, but he ended up giving them to me.”

He started out with between 325 and 350 flags and put them out for his neighbors to celebrate Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

“Over the years I started asking people younger than me if they would be responsible for their own flags,” he said. “I still do about 150 of them and try to put mine up early to remind people to get them out. It’s spread up to other streets too now and looks really nice.”

The flags stay out for about a week and Wilson tries to look them over to see if he needs to get any replacements from Annin.

“Annin has been extremely supportive of the project and I really appreciate them,” he said.

Wilson also appreciates the support of his neighbors.

“I just thought since we had the flag company here it would be a nice thing for us to do,” he said. “We (the neighborhood) were already good at lighting the way for Jesus at Christmas so I thought we could be good about getting the flags out too.”

One of Wilson’s neighbors even helped him make the job of placing the flags easier.

“When I first started I used a hammer and a big screwdriver,” he said. “Then I used a drill with a bit and now I use a tool made by one of my neighbors to make it less hard work. My wife helps a little bit too and if I have my grandchild here I get him out to help put out and pick up the flags.”

Wilson said he has continued the project all these years because he loves our country and what the flag stands for.

“We should celebrate that (our country and the flag) whenever we can,” he said.


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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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