Sign maker, volunteers put stars on C Hill flag panels |

Sign maker, volunteers put stars on C Hill flag panels

Karl Horeis
Employees of Sign Designz piece together plates that, when completed, will make up the new C Hill American flag. Pictured from left are Jeremy Buscay, Brittany McClelland and Josh Buscay. SETH MEYER Nevada Appeal

Volunteers have attached stars to panels that will make up the blue field on a massive United States flag being placed on C Hill.

Because the stars have an adhesive backing, they went on like big stickers, said Josh Buscay, founding member of the C Hill Flag Foundation and owner of a sign-making company.

“It’s the same material that is used for lettering on most signs,” he said. “We’re using high-quality stuff.”

It wasn’t easy to get the 4-foot stars organized correctly on the 91 blue panels, said Buscay, owner of Sign Designz on Deer Run Road.

“We had to number the panels so when we get back on the hill we can put them up in that exact order,” he said. “It’s like a huge jigsaw puzzle.”

The C Hill flag effort began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. An original flag on a wooden frame was destroyed by heavy winds in December 2002. The new flag will be secured to a metal frame anchored to 55 concrete fixtures.

The panels are made of a material called Alumalite which has thin aluminum faces sandwiching a black, plastic honey-comb matrix. The C Hill flag organizers bought them from Montroy Supply in Reno. Red and white panels for the stripes are in storage.

To address concerns over glare from the sun, all panels are being scuffed and painted with a matte-finish varnish.

Buscay and three others have handled the stars and scuffing of the blue panels. Helping him over Independence Day weekend were his brother, Jeremy, girlfriend Brittany McClelland and volunteer Afton Leaton.

“She scuffed all the panels by herself and that was a pretty big job,” Buscay said.

The flag project was dealt a blow in the middle of June when the lifting platform used by a helicopter to haul concrete broke. No one was hurt but the operation was pushed back. The Nevada Army National Guard helicopter has been busy fighting fires near Verdi.

The final flag, located on C Hill just above the block C, will measure 120 feet long and 65-feet tall. It will rest on a 30-degree grade about 1,000 feet above the city.

The total estimated cost will be about $35,000. The project was engineered by Vance Gabbart of Gabbart and Woods Structural Engineers in Reno.

You can help

What: Help return the flag to C Hill

To volunteer labor, contact: Gil Ayarbe 882-1681

To donate goods or services, contact: Robin Williamson 883-9577

To make a financial contribution, contact: Chris MacKenzie 687-0202

For information: Go

Contact Karl Horeis at or 881-1219.