Organizers of Brevard County’s most patriotic display viewable from your car are confident that coronavirus or not — 2020 will again have Satellite Beach’s 21-day Flag Salute June 14 through July 4. It was founded back in 1987 by the late Scotty Culp.
Last year, it expanded from 50 to 60 flags. The salute requires about a dozen volunteers twice daily. They place and put up the flags that encircle the pond in front of the Satellite Beach Municipal Complex that now bears Culp’s name. Culp, who was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame, passed away in 2013 at age 91.
The private effort also places the flags on Presidents Day in February; Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15 (canceled this year due to the virus); Patriots’ Day, Sept. 11; Veterans Day, Nov. 11; and Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7.
"Our plans (are) to have it happen again this year for Flag Day through July 4, but we’re still waiting to see how the restrictions change. This virus is affecting our largest group of volunteers, which are seniors over 65 who are at the greatest risk. I’ve had some decline, but others that said they will be there with masks on,’’ said Ron Culp, who for the past three years has carried on his mother’s tradition.
Culp said before the virus he had discussed getting high school volunteers from the Satellite High School football team. Other volunteer shortages have on occasion been filled by Satellite Beach firefighters and police officers, he said.
Culp said the flag salutes are always well received by the community as a beautiful visual, even if they don’t remember exactly which date the flags are flying to represent.
This year’s 21-day flag salute, starting June 14, will have special meaning as community members battle the virus through quarantines and safety measures.
"The feedback I get is that it is always beautiful to see the flags flying. This year, I think it will represent the strength of America,’’ Culp said.
If you would like to volunteer or donate, contact Culp at email@example.com.