How long has it been up there? If you’re not familiar with the story behind the flag, this article from the August 6, 1976 edition of the Lorain Journal explains it all.
****Amherst Brother and Sister
Painted SR 2 Flag as a Bicentennial Salute
By Michele Rice
GRANT AND BARBARA THOMPSON display their
finished product, a 27 by 16 foot Bicentennial Flag.
(Journal Photo by J. Ross Baughman.)
Grant Thompson, 21 and his 19-year-old sister, Barbara, painted the flag on the ledge overlooking the roadway on July 4. For years, that ledge was used for graffiti.
“We were thinking of something to do for the Bicentennial a year ago, and never got around to it until then,” said Grant, a student at Western College of Miami University, at Oxford, Ohio.
“It looks better than those names, “ he said, and hopes the flag painting will stay.
“If somebody paints over it, I will be mad. I’ll just go down and paint over it again,” he explained.
GRANT said the state-owned property for SR 2 abuts his father’s 75 acres. The cliff is part of an old quarry there.
It took the two about eight hours to paint the flag, and four gallons of paint.
While working on the project, they attracted a lot of attention from drivers.
“All of the sudden the cars started honking and people stopped to talk to us. One guy stopped and gave us three Pepsi’s,” said Grant. “It was kind of neat.”
ALTHOUGH GRANT has a brother, and three other sisters besides Barbara, the others didn’t help with the painting.
“We wanted to do it ourselves,” explained Grant. “We called it OUR Bicentennial project.”
Barbara attends Akron University, majoring in art. Both of them designed the flag.
They reside at 6020 Oberlin Road, Amherst.
|Photo Courtesy of the book |
Sandstone Center of the World by James A. Hieb
It states, “Travelers on State Route 2 just east of Amherst witness the American Flag painted by Barbara (Brucker) and Grant Thompson in 1976 to celebrate our nation’s bicentennial. While the flag has occasionally also been painted with graffiti, good samaritans have always touched up the flag following these acts of ill-respect. Following the 911 attacks, Barbara and Grant, along with family members again gave the flag a fresh coat of paint as a testimony of patriotism.”
****Grant Thompson later became the chief naturalist for the Lorain County Metro Parks. The Chronicle-Telegram interviewed him in 2011 and he talked about painting the flag with his sister, as well as what it means to the community 35 years later. Here’s a link to that interview.