Bristol hangs U.S. flag for inspiration and hope

Posted 3/21/20

In a brief ceremony downtown, Bristol town leaders and a very small group of people gathered — though not too closely — to honor America, raise a flag and give people something to smile …

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Bristol hangs U.S. flag for inspiration and hope

Posted

In a brief ceremony downtown, Bristol town leaders and a very small group of people gathered — though not too closely — to honor America, raise a flag and give people something to smile about. At 8:30 a.m., the town closed the block of Hope Street between State and Court streets, to allow a public works crew to hang a large U.S. flag above the street.

Gathered below were Town of Bristol department heads, Bristol town councilors and a few people who were curious about what was happening. Town Administrator Steven Contente did not publicize the event beforehand — to avoid having a crowd gather and to abide by R.I. Department of Health guidelines to avoid crowds and maintain social distancing.

Mr. Contente led the group in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. The whole event lasted about 10 minutes, and then everyone went back to life as "normal."

Speaking by phone shortly afterward, Mr. Contente said they hung the flag to give people something to feel good about and to look forward to.

"We’re looking forward. We are going to get through this," he said. "We ask everyone to continue to follow the directions of the Department of Health, so we can get through this as soon as possible. And we’re going to be ok. And I think we’re going to be even stronger in the future."

To Bristol residents, he said, "Your local government is doing everything they possibly can to keep the community safe and keep us strong."

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.