By Carol Stiffler

On Friday, July 3, American flags appeared on front lawns of nearly every home in Newberry.

Dave DeMerse, owner of Hometown Pharmacy, ordered the flags in April and worked with his staff to prepare them with a greeting card from the pharmacy. The prep, limited to slow moments at the pharmacy, took months.

DeMerse and a crew which consisted of about nine people divided the town into quadrants and tackled the project in just a few hours.

“I do it because it makes me happy,” said DeMerse. Many of the flags can still be seen on front lawns today. Residents can keep them and they can also buy elegant eagle toppers on this weblink, he said.

He did it last year, too, but had only ordered 500 flags and wasn’t able to place one on every lawn. Wanting it to be a surprise, DeMerse organized flag placement to be conducted overnight last year.

“We were dodging skunks,” he said, “and I know we missed houses.”

This year, they placed the in-ground heavy wind flagpoles during daylight hours and, all told, landed about 900 of them in local yards.

“We like to make people happy,” he said. “We don’t do it for the thanks, but it sure does feel nice. I know people appreciate it and I know it makes people smile.”

DeMerse plans to repeat the feat for next year’s Independence Day.