Man who climbs flag poles for a living makes 'Old Glory' fly aga - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Man who climbs flag poles for a living makes 'Old Glory' fly again at Franklin County park

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- High winds brought down an American flag at a Kentucky park, and getting it back up wasn't easy -- but one man was up to the job.

On Monday, WDRB's Chris Sutter introduced us to a man who climbs flag poles for a living -- and explained the exhausting process that keeps Old Glory flying high.

There's been a noticeable absence along I-64 in one Franklin County park.

"I got calls from all kinds of people about the flag," said the park's owner, C. Michael Davenport.

That flag represented 1,800 square feet of America that almost seemed to vanish.

"The community seems to be really proud of it," Davenport said.

Davenport tells us he put the flag there to honor veterans.

"Their dedication, commitment, and sacrifice allow us to live in a land of liberty," he said.

High winter winds had other plans, snapping cables and forcing "Old Glory" to come down.

That is, until Robert Ray showed up. 

"You can't get just anybody to come out and climb a 150-foot flag pole," Davenport said. "This is what he does. He goes around the country climbing flag poles."

"This is my 24th year," Ray said.

In a matter minutes, he assesses what needs to be done, and is in a cherry picker headed for the sky. Only part of the trip to the top will happen in the bucket. Ray goes at the rest of it, alone, using a harness, as well as a mixture of sweat, muscle and determination.

"It gets easier with every section. The smaller it gets, the easier it is," Ray said of the flag pole.

A crowd formed below, taking pictures, and watching the show. 

"I'll sign some autographs or something," Ray laughed.

After about 60 minutes, proper fixes are made -- and Ray is on the way down.

A sigh of relief is part of this process. Then it's onto some wire work to fix the flag, before heading back up in the cherry picker -- and making the red, white and blue fly once again, just in time for Memorial Day. 

"Our veterans -- I hope they are so proud," Davenport said.

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