Two clouds on the C Hill flag's horizon appeared to be clearing on Tuesday when the U.S. Forest Service approved paint that will reduce reflectivity and organizers got a line on drilling equipment to pierce the native Sierra Nevada rock.
Carson District Ranger Gary Schiff gave the go-ahead to paint flag panels with a flat non-reflective varnish to dull the flag's reflectivity.
"We are proud to host the flag," Schiff said. "The C Hill Flag Committee is carrying a large load and we really appreciate their help on this issue. I especially want to thank Carson City Supervisor Robin Williamson with her patience."
The flag is located on land managed by the Forest Service. Larry Randall, Forest Service recreation program manager, said the flag's reflectivity was an issue because of its size.
"It would act like a big mirror, reflecting the sun somewhere into the community and we didn't want to go there," he said.
Sign Designz owner and flag designer Josh Buscay presented samples of the flag to the Forest Service on Tuesday, and Randall said there is a substantial difference.
"He came in with a sample of the paint and we are OK," Randall said. "The sample was very telling."
Buscay said work to paint the panels in preparation could begin as soon as they are ordered.
"When the rest of the frame is finished, then we can get rolling," Buscay said. "I'm happy that part of the flag is over and we can move on."
Todd Jennings of the C Hill Committee said efforts to anchor the flag to the hillside have moved forward.
The committee is renting a hand-held, gas-powered rock drill recommended by the manufacturer of the anchors.
"I'm not going to get real optimistic until we get the anchors in and the panels are in," Jennings said. "We rented the drill for 10 days. If it takes us longer than five holes a day, then something is wrong. But until we get up there and start making it happen, you can't tell."
The original flag was put up in October 2001 in memory of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
It was shredded by a powerful storm in December 2002 and C Hill flag committee members have been trying to restore it ever since.
Their target date is to have it back up by Veterans Day.