"It's been a long uphill battle," says Mike Roach, head of construction for the C Hill flag foundation.
After more than two years of laborious fund-raising, engineering and planning - the painstaking construction of the concrete foundation and the 85 tons of material carried up the steep hillside on the backs of volunteers to support it - the C Hill flag will begin turning red, white and blue Wednesday morning as installation of the structure's 390 Alumilite panels begins.
The 65-by-120-foot American flag will be the largest of its kind, according to Roach. "Something that will really put Carson City on the map."
And something that will be put on future Carson City maps.
"Next time they do a satellite image of the city, you'll be able to see the flag," he promises.
Nevada Division of Forestry workers and C Hill volunteers will be on hand to start laying down the 4-by-5-foot sections of corrugated fiberglass and aluminum, material crafted specifically to withstand the 100 mph Sierra winds that ripped apart the first C Hill flag during a storm in December 2002.
"Light but strong," is how Roach describes the proprietary material.
Weather and wind-permitting, the group will start laying the cornerstone panels around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.
"We wanted to do it during a time the NDF crew was available," says Roach. "They've done so much of the hard labor that we wanted to give them as much of the glory as possible."
Roach says while the season's heavy winter weather and snow damaged some of the framing, it was minor and the group has since worked to straighten it out.
"We've persevered," he says. "The community has really come through and will soon get to see the results of their efforts."
"We hope to be finished by mid-May," says Roach, calling the endeavor a "legacy project."
This flag is built to last for generations, 100 mph winds or not.
"This is dedicated to all the military people who have made sacrifices for the last 200 years," he adds.
The project was originally inspired by the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
After assaults by vandals and Mother Nature, the group rallied volunteers and adopted the mission statement to rebuild a bigger, better, stronger flag "to withstand whatever may be thrown her way."
n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1215.