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Town of Faith flies American flags to boost spirits

By Liz Moomey

liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

FAITH — American flags line the streets of downtown Faith around the Fourth of July and for major holidays, but flags have been waving since last week, too. 

Scott Gardener, Faith’s public works director and fire chief, came up with the idea after seeing communities putting up Christmas lights, including McAdenville in Gaston County, to provide comfort and joy during the coronavirus outbreak. In lieu of Christmas lights, Gardener said he thought putting up the American flags along Main Street was a good idea during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“This is a strong country, and we’re going to pull through,” he said.

Gardener said he wanted the flags to be a beacon of hope and ray of light during a difficult time. The flags will stay up during the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tim Williams, former mayor of Faith and a pharmacist, said the flags show the Faith residents are American and love their country and that they’ll beat the coronavirus. 

“The flags represent our strength to see this through together and come out stronger on the other side,” Williams said in an email.

Williams added the flags show pride and thankfulness for everyone’s effort to stop the threat to the economy.

Andrew Welch, owner of Faith Soda Shop and captain at Faith Fire Station, said he enjoys seeing the flag waving outside of his business.

“It’s trying to bring the community and America together in a tough time,” he said.

Though, Welch said he is afraid things will get worse before they gets better. He has seen business drop by 70% due to the COVOD-19 outbreak. He had to cut back hours to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

But the flags are a reminder of the strength of the town and the United States, he said.

Pam and Cliff Smith said they noticed the American flags last weekend, but didn’t know they were put up as encouragement to the community during the crisis.

“You’ll never find a level of patriotism to beat Faith and Rowan County,” Pam said.

Karen Fink, the town clerk and finance officer, said they haven’t received a lot of feedback from citizens calling in. Fink said foot traffic in the town hall is the average amount. Though, Fink said, traffic mostly happens when utility bills are due. 

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