Flag site previously owned by the county
BRECKENRIDGE – After the American flag-burning incident atop Peak 1 this month, a Summit County resident recently e-mailed the Board of County Commissioners to suggest the county acquire the mountaintop for a permanent Sept. 11 memorial. That way, the county could have more control instead of people having to obtain permits through the U.S. Forest Service.
Until several months ago, the county did own Peak 1.
The suggestion follows on the tail of a land-swap deal between the county and the U.S. Forest Service. After years in the works, the county officially gave up Peak 1 earlier this summer. In exchange, the county received land where a hospital is proposed near the County Commons and library just south of Frisco.
Despite their inability now to do anything about it officially, county commissioners in their Monday morning work session discussed whether the flag should be replaced. The issue has been a subject of debate throughout the county, whether the group of hikers that initially posted the flag Sept. 16, 2001, should repost the flag again.
“Nothing should ever be constructed on top of any mountain, anywhere. I just think it’s a major intrusion on property owned by the citizens of the United States,” said Commissioner Gary Lindstrom. “If someone wants to build a memorial, I’ll help them build it somewhere else. Like on a bike trail or somewhere people can get to it easily.”
If a permit is granted to one group for one memorial on one peak, the USFS would have a hard time denying other groups’ requests, Lindstrom said.
Commissioner Bill Wallace said the Peak 1 flag should be replaced. Like the slashed and burned 10-by-15 foot flag, the country has had its ups and downs and has its good and bad points, Wallace said.
“I never saw it as a statement or a memorial (to Sept. 11),” Wallace said. “It’s a symbol of the country we live in. This country’s got some good points and some bad points and that flag pretty much represents everything.”
Lindstrom, who has a background in law enforcement, said he would personally arrest the person who burned the Peak 1 flag, if officials discover who did it. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has not received any new tips. The Forest Service said it does not have the resources to investigate the Class 3 misdemeanor act of vandalism.
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