New 110-foot flagpole on city green one of tallest in state

Updated: The City of Milford and Devon Rotary Foundation have joined forces to replace the Memorial Flagpole on the green with a taller one.

Over the years, the 99.7 foot steel flagpole had lost its structural integrity due to a number of stress cracks as well as general wear and tear, Mayor Ben Blake said in a press release this week.

“The Devon Rotary Foundation eagerly took on the project to replace the existing steel flagpole with a new 110 foot fiberglass maintenance-free pole,” Blake said. “The Devon Rotary has also pledged to supply the city with two new flags every year.”

At 110 feet, it may be the tallest flagpole in the state, according to Devon Rotary Foundation Chairman Ray Macaluso.

“From my research online, it appears to be the tallest in the state,” Macaluso said. But he added that there may be one out there taller.

“I’d like to know if there’s a taller one,” Macaluso added.

The Memorial Flagpole serves as a tribute to Veterans of World War II as well as the Korean and Vietnam Conflicts. The existing pole will be demolished this week and the new pole will be installed in the next few weeks.

The historic concrete base will be preserved and will remain the foundation for the new pole.

“The new flagpole is a wonderful gift from Devon Rotary to commemorate the 375th Anniversary of Milford,” Blake said. “It is a lasting contribution that will continue to be a proud monument to our veterans and to our city, which boasts the second-longest town green in New England.”

The Devon Rotary Foundation is made up of former Devon Rotary presidents. Macaluso said the group went to the mayor and asked what projects needed to be done.

The group learned that the existing flag pole had to be remove or replaced, and Macaluso said the group decided to spend about $50,000 to replace it.

“We thought this would be a great project for the 375th,” Macaluso said.

All American Flag Pole out of Rhode Island provided the new structure, and is taking the old pole away for scrap or recycling.

The eagle figurine that graced the top of the earlier flag pole will be put atop the new one.

City Historian Richard Platt said there’s an interesting story behind the eagle.

Platt said when an older flag pole was taken down in 1954 and the more recent one put up, workers found that the eagle had two bullet holes in it.

According to Platt, Hank White from the nearby funeral home said he’d fired some shots in the air when World War II ended and never realized that he must have hit the eagle.

“Now it’s at the Milford Historical Society,” Platt said, explaining that a new eagle was crafted to replace the one with the bullet holes.