City Hall officials hoping to run their ideas up the flagpole and see if anyone would salute them ran into a problem yesterday. Bruce Porteous was already atop the flag poles, removing the flags — thus inhibiting everyone's saluting instincts.
Porteous, a Rec and Park tree-top worker, dangled precariously over Civic Center Plaza in a cherry-picker truck, removing the city's 18 historic flags and replacing them with shiny new ones. This, he says, is a chore that befalls him once a year. Or sometimes more: “These things really end up looking like shit because of the wind.”
That's a testament to how windy and dirty our city can get — because, rest assured, these are not cheapo, translucent Taiwan-made flags. They're hulking, thick items, American-crafted to military specifications. And they ain't inexpensive.