Grand old flag, grand new pole

May 22, 2020

After a fierce storm in March blew down the flagpole in front of the American Legion post on Main Street, Eagle Scout Doug Santos sprung into action.

For his original Eagle Scout project, he built a fire pit behind the Legion which can be used to properly and respectfully dispose of worn-out American flags.

So when the Legion needed help again, he was ready.

Santos teamed up with his grandfather, Bruce Westgate, to fully remove the pole from its stand and pull out the rivets that had been holding it in place. 

The pole was made from hollow aluminum which tore during the storm, so the bottom section needed to be replaced and reinforced.

That’s where the Cape Cod Shipbuilding Company came in. 

Gordon Goodwin, the president of the company, said that initially, the plan was to have Santos work with shipbuilders to refurbish the pole, but that wasn’t practical during the pandemic. 

Workers at the company replaced the bottom section of the aluminum and slotted in a steel pole within the aluminum shell to add strength. 

On May 22, the refurbished pole was ready to be installed. 

Santos, Westgate, Goodwin, American Legion Commander Bob Powilatis, Legion member Joe Cappello, adult Boy Scout leader Mike Sciaraffa, and Santos’ mother, Carolyn Santos, all gathered to install the pole. 

The newly installed pole now proudly flies a United States flag, along with a Massachusetts flag and a POW/MIA flag.

The pole is dedicated to the memory of Howard Macy Perce, who was a WWII veteran.

Powilatis expressed his gratitude to Santos, Westgate, and to the Cape Cod Shipbuilding Company on behalf of the Legion.