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Huge flag raised for Independence Day

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PONCHATOULA - As has been the case for the last 30-something celebrations of the country's independence, a huge flag flew over Ponchatoula Wednesday.

“It’s quite a magnet for the community,” said Mayor Bob Zabbia.

Dozens of people gathered in downtown to watch the giant flag go up.

The flag is on a 177-foot pole and is about 2,800-square-feet.

“The first time we came when we moved here after Katrina it was amazing,” said Linda Taranto. “We cried, both me and my husband.”

“It just makes you proud, makes you proud to live in this great nation,” said Hunter Perrin, who helped with the flag.

“It’s community togetherness. It just represents Tangipahoa Parish,” added Tangipahoa Parish President, Robby Miller.

Once up, the flag can be seen for miles.

“From almost the Manchac Pass when you get off the bridge, and that’s 8 miles,” said Gerald Didier.

This tradition has lasted 33 years, and many would say the town has four women to thank. The first year, in 1985, the women sewed the first flag.

“It was a project, but we enjoyed it,” said Ann Boudreaux. “It doesn't matter what size it is, when it goes up, it really touches your heart.”

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