Second-graders bedazzled as their Clarksville flag rises

May 27, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

Raindrops sprinkled Krystal Jacobson's hair, but there was no way she or the four guys in her group would have moved inside and missed a close-up of their flag rising over Clarksville.

"It looks good," said 8-year-old Krystal as firefighters ran it up the pole at the Clarksville fire station on Route 108.

The flag, designed by the second-grade gifted-and-talented class at the local elementary school, flew briefly over the community Tuesday. Then, because teacher Suzanne Golibart wasn't too sure how the colors would stand up under a day of drizzle, the firefighters brought it indoors to wait for better weather.

Flag designer Jamey Bittner, 8, has faith in the flag's durability.

"It's going to stay up there until it crumbles and falls," he said.

How long would that be?

"Probably 30 or 40 years," Jamey estimated.

The five second-graders spent months studying the history of their community before they put together a banner with an agricultural theme, its symbols red, green and blue on a field of white. Clarksville is still a farm community, the students said, although Richard Mazzarino, 8, acknowledged in the community history he read at the flag-raising that the farms are gradually disappearing into subdivisions.

The flag is bordered by 30 red barns representing the 30 neighborhoods or subdivisions, such as Highland Junction and The Chase, that the students identified as making up the community.

Three shamrocks on the banner bear the names of original European settlers James, John and David Clark, who arrived from Ireland in the 1600s. One of their descendants, John R. Clark, built a store and hotel and gave his name to the town in 1830.

On the flag, a farmer with a pitchfork represents the community's agricultural heritage, the black-and-blue plaid of his shirt matches colors former state Sen. James Clark Jr. identified from his family crest. The center of the flag contains a white oak, Maryland's state tree, which is fairly common in the area.

The best parts of the project were coloring the flag and writing the letter asking the fire company to fly the flag, Richard said. He explained why writing the letter ranked high on the fun scale:

"We did it on the computer."

Golibart said she might try to find a community organization to finance a sturdier flag.

It may be necessary, because Matt Hostetler, 8, already knows what he'll remember when he drives by the Clarksville fire station 30 or 40 years from now and sees the flag flying.

"I'll remember that we made it."

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