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Possibly largest flag in Oregon raised in Grants Pass

What could be the largest flag in Oregon is flying near the Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop at 300 Union Ave. in Grants Pass.

The 40-by-60-foot American flag was raised on a 154-foot flagpole Saturday before 1,000 people in a ceremony called "Forever Honor, Never Forget."

Local businessman Dan Kirkman has worked for months to raise more than $50,000 from 500-plus donors for the flag, which was installed to honor veterans.

The flag surpasses the size of Medford's 30-by-60-foot flag raised on a 120-foot pole over Crater Lake Ford as a tribute to veterans in 2007. Similar flags have been raised in Madras and Hermiston in recent years. 

Saturday's ceremony included a flyover by two fighter jets.

Veteran John Barner said the flag "brings unity."

"Whether you're a Democrat or Republican, we respect the flag and come together, and that's what today is," he said.

Matt Evens, 20, said he came out to see the biggest flag in Oregon and supports the message it spreads.

"People will look at it and realize how great our country is and get their mind off all the bad things that are happening," he said.

Rozella Beck, sitting next to her husband, a Korean War veteran, said, "This is what USA is all about. Just good ol' USA American."

For Kirkman, the raising of the flag was the fulfillment of a 10-year dream.

"This has been such a blessing and humbling experience," he said. "It's a blessing for everyone, and that's my blessing."

Dan Kirkman, second from left, helps raise a 40-by-60-foot flag in a 'Forever Honor, Never Forget' ceremony Saturday on Union Avenue in Grants Pass. Timothy Bullard / Grants Pass Daily Courier