HILLSBORO, N.D. Five hundred American flags will flap in the breeze on Saturday, June 19, during Hillsboro’s annual summer celebration.

The flags are the focus of the Stars and Stripes project, which Paul Geray, a business owner in town, started in 2020. Geray got the idea from a similar project he saw when he was visiting a town in Idaho.

Seven organizations in Hillsboro are responsible for putting the flags on boulevards at daybreak on seven designated days most of them federal holidays and removing them at night.

Five dollars from the sales of the flags are used to make new kits, which include a flag, rod and pole, and the seven organizations share the remaining profits from the sales of the flags, which cost $35 each to purchase.

Many community members and business owners who have purchased the flags have donated more than the required $35, Geray said. Meanwhile, Mootz Construction and Hillsboro Hardware donated materials that are used to hang the flags.

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Geray and his wife make the flag kits, which cost $9. He wanted to keep the cost of the kits low so the flags would be affordable and the organizations could make a profit by sponsoring them, Geray said.

Besides Hillsboro Days on June 19, the 3-by-5-foot flags are placed on the boulevard downtown and in neighborhoods throughout the city on Independence Day, Labor Day, Patriots Day and, if the weather allows it, on Veterans Day.

“The first time we did it we had 240. We just kept adding all summer long. By Veterans Day we had 365,” Geray said. "This year, on Memorial Day, we had 487. Now, we’re at even 500."

"Some places, just about every house will have them,” Geray said. “It’s been phenomenal that you can have a community that has taken this project and supported it so well.”