Today, Flag Day, special for Port Ludlow man of Stars and Stripes
“Flagman” LaMoyne Jevne stands with some of the special flags in his collection, a joint U.S./Canadian flag made right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and a battery-powered flag that waves. He constructed the lighted flag in the background.
By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“This is to honor the flag, but when you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you aren’t really pledging to the flag itself but to our country and its values.” he said.
The display will include flags of various sizes, and will be complimented by the 5-foot by 9-foot lighted flag that flies above his house around the clock.
Also today, anyone who asks will receive a small flag as a keepsake, to pay tribute to America’s colors in his or her own private way.
“I give out the good flags, not the cheap ones with stapling on the end,” he said.
Jevne’s address is 1473 Thorndyke Road, off South Point Road south of state Highway 104 and the Hood Canal Bridge.
Jevne, 78, joined the Navy when he was a teenager and served for 24 years before holding a variety of jobs such as salesman and mechanic.
He retired to the Shine area of Port Ludlow in the 1980s and has been conducting flag tributes on Flag Day and Independence Day for 12 years.
His license plate reads “FLAGMAN” and his business card lists him as an “amateur vexilologist,” the latter word reserved for one who studies flags as a scholar.
He is available for lectures about the history of the U.S. flag, a speech he tailors for the audience.
“I will give a different presentation to the Elks Club than I would to an elementary school,” he said.
During these lectures, he unfurls one of his most valuable collectors’ items, which appears to be a Canadian flag but with the inside half an American flag.
The hybrid, which was condoned by neither government, was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to show Canadian support for the United States.
Other collectibles include flags that have flown over the U.S. Capitol and a battery-operated flag that plays patriotic songs accompanied by a waving motion.
He wears a Stars and Stripes necktie, which he admits violates the official U.S. Flag Code.
The code, he said, is more of a suggestion since no one can be arrested for folding the flag improperly or flying the flag at night without illumination.
Jevne acknowledges his advanced age, and has put his home up for sale because it has become difficult for his wife to negotiate the stairs.
In that respect, he does not have any answer to what will happen to his flag enterprise after he is gone.
He’d like to find someone who will commit to spreading the flag gospel, and would even allow for this in his estate if the right person emerged.
Jevne estimates that he has handed out around 5,000 flags both from his home and in public places, with only two people declining to accept.
He believes that respect for the flag has increased in recent years.
“I think world events have made a lot of people appreciate our country more,” he said.
Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: June 13. 2011 10:42PM