Matthew Troy has devised a really unique way to honor the American flag as well as the fire, police and EMS personnel who help keep us safe.
Troy, a volunteer fireman and filmmaker from Hebron, CT, is initiating a “flag relay” project where American flags are passed through a network of emergency service agencies across the country. As each police or fire station takes possession of the flag, it will be flown for a day, used in a parade or in a similar display. It will then be sent to the next agency in the chain, and along the way each department will take photos and videos of their displays. When the circuit is complete, the photos and videos will be compiled into a video that will tell the story of the project.
“Of course, it will take quite a bit of legwork and coordination to pull this together,” said Troy. “I’m quite excited about this project and hope it turns into something a lot of first responders can get behind.”
As winter approaches, the flags will be delivered back to Troy, who will then prepare a formal presentation to Team USA’s Bobsled and Skeleton team athletes as they train for the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY.
Troy’s connection with the bobsled team comes from his volunteer experience with them; in one of the seminars he attended, an ex-military member discussed flag etiquette with the Olympic athletes. From there, Troy began to reflect on his own service as a volunteer fireman in both Connecticut and New York City and how the flag unites emergency professionals across the country. He began an outreach through social media and soon got emergency professionals in nine different states on board with the flag relay. Those agencies contacted others and soon the ball was rolling.
“Proper handling of the flag is pretty important to me, as I’m in the color guard with my local volunteer fire department and am a member of the National Color Guard. It’s something that isn’t taught much anymore, and a lot of people just don’t know about it,” said Troy. “And now that this flag relay is starting to take off and build momentum, I’m getting calls and emails from people I’ve never met, in places I’ve never heard of.”
Carrot-Top will be donating two 3’ x 5’ Beacon flags and one 3’ x 5’ Patriarch flag toward the flag relay. At Carrot-Top, this is the kind of initiative we love being able to be part of, and it’ll be a huge honor for us if those flags are carried to Korea by the US Bobsled and Skeleton teams.
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Since Matthew Troy first connected with Carrot-Top, the flags have continued to make the rounds! As of the end of November 2017, the flags have flown in 30 states. First responders in every state except Rhode Island and New Mexico have requested a flag as part of this program. On January 22 of 2018, the flags will be gifted to Team USA’s Olympic Bobsled and Skeleton athletes, at a fundraising event in Washington, DC.
The final flag flew in Nevada before being presented to the U.S. Bobseld team on January 23 of 2018 so that Matthew could complete his project! The three Carrot-Top Flags took a tour of the East and West coasts as well as Mid-Western states before completing their journey.
The chart below shows the path of each of the flags that were relayed;
the Orange, Green and Red flags were Carrot-Top Flags.