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Flag team volunteers replaced the American flag atop Patriot Hill in April. Photo: Courtesy of Tom Baker
Flag team volunteers replaced the American flag atop Patriot Hill in April. Photo: Courtesy of Tom Baker

The Capistrano Dispatch

Last month, San Juan Capistrano’s own volunteer “flag team” replaced the American flag that waves atop Patriot Hill, a popular destination for hikers, equestrians, runners and cyclists.

A flag has been flying on San Juan Capistrano’s city-owned open space ridge line since Sept. 11, 2001. Flag team members say no one knows who hung the original small flag on a rusty barbed wire fence post overlooking the I-5. But for the next several years, a handful of locals made sure there was always a flag on that ridge line, flying on a variety of small make-shift poles.

In 2005, an Eagle Scout installed a 35-foot permanent pole as his community service project. The project was a tribute to the lives lost and the heroes of 9/11, as well as the heroes who protect American citizens every day.

Over the years, the flag and pole have been maintained by an all-volunteer “flag team” of more than 100 volunteers who rally several times a year to replace tattered flags, make needed repairs and express their thoughts in the journal book. The flag team can be reached at

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