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Coupeville school works to solve flag problems

Since the new Coupeville High School opened in the fall, school leaders have been working to make sure the American flag is properly displayed in front of the school.

A design problem with the pole prevents staff from lowering the flag during high winds, which are a common occurrence for the school located just across the prairie from breezy Admiralty Inlet. If someone tries to lower the flag during the high winds, it gets caught on the bell tower.

“We didn’t anticipate at the time how the wind would affect it,” Coupeville School District Superintendent Patty Page said.

School officials have been working since before the first day of school to fix the problem.

Instead of lowering the flag every day, it was decided to add 24-hour lighting which allows the flag to be displayed at night. Workers first installed solar-powered lights earlier in the school year. Unfortunately, the lights had a tendency to burn out too fast. Now workers are just finishing installation of a new set of lights near the flag pole located above the school’s bell tower. Page hopes the new lights provide a more reliable source of illumination for the flag.

Several residents have complained about the tattered condition of the flag.

High School Principal Sheldon Rosenkrance said staff replaces the flag every three to four weeks. Since the beginning of the school year, the flag has been replaced four times. Staff will continue to replace the flag as needed.

Another unfortunate situation about the flag pole is that students aren’t able to unfurl the flag in the mornings, which had been done in the past.

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