August 29, 2013
For the seventh year in a row, Fluvanna County resident Bill Norris loaded his Lincoln with bundles of flags and set off.
On Thursday, he planted 275 of them around Fork Union. It's something the small community has come to expect for certain holidays, but few people know the man behind the mission.
"I do Labor Day, of course, Fourth of July, I try to do Veteran's Day, Memorial Day," said Norris.
The last time his collection of flags saw dirt was Independence Day. Norris pushed 263 of them into the ground. Since then, his stock has grown by a dozen.
"I think it's wonderful. I think it's wonderful he keeps adding to it," said Fluvanna County resident Barbara Lacy.
Norris started putting up flags at the Fork Union cemetery wall after realizing there wasn't already an American flag flying there, something he says most cemeteries have.
So, he brought his own.
"We probably started with 100," said Norris.
The stars and stripes have since spread.
"It's kind of grown to covering all the rock walls at the Fork Union Military Academy. I do them around the Fork Union Baptist Church and any other rock wall that's in the little village of Fork Union," he said.
Thanks to Norris' dedication and his handy measuring tape, a little red, white and blue can be seen every ten feet.
"It's just so nice to drive into Fork Union and see the flags," said Lindsay White, who lives in town.
White saw Norris and his bucket of flags at work and approached him.
"I just want to thank you!" she said, giving Norris a hug.
Norris says he does it for the people who pass by, and those passersby notice.
"We get a lot of horns honking, waves, people stopping, so it does generate a community spirit," he said. "I hope people get a sense of community in their spirit, in the nation and in their faith and try to encourage other people to do the same," said Norris.
"We just appreciate it. We very much appreciate it. I think the whole community does," said Lacy.
It's a gesture from a man who's just proud of his country, who says his patriotism has no limits.
"We'll go and do as many as we can, until I'm too old to do it, I guess," Norris said with a laugh.