Friday is flag day, and one Mandan business is really getting into the patriotic spirit. Schwan's Buick GMC and Cadillac will be hosting a giant flag raising event at 10 a.m. in its parking lot.

And when we say giant... we mean GIANT. Members of the Mandan 4th Degree Knights of Columbus will be in charge of raising the flag —which Schwan's owner Steve Schwan says weighs 85 pounds and measures in at 15-by-30 feet — up an 80-foot pole that will make the flag highly visible year-round on the Mandan strip. The pole has been fixed with lighting so that the flag will remain visible 24/7 at both full and half mast.

"We're really excited about this. We've been looking forward to this for awhile," Schwan said.  "We've always been a patriotic store. [The flag] it's one of those things where we want to make a statement in these turbulent times that we love where we live and what we do, and we wanted to do it big and bold."

In addition to raising the flag, a member of the Knights of Columbus, Don Wiley, will sing the National Anthem.There will also be Boy Scouts in attendance, doing their part to help honor the flag, as well as veterans involved with the Freedom Rider MC.

The Knights of Columbus have put an emphasis on helping present the colors at events around North Dakota, member Steven Riehl said.

"It's important, that's why w're doing it," Riehl said. "What we've been seeing is so many activities in communities are getting away from the flag and singing the National Anthem in person in a real way. They've got the song on a radio and the flag on a wall, and it isn't the same. We want to get communities involved and to come together for our flag."

Refreshments and red, white and blue cupcakes will be available at the event. The flag raising corresponds with Schwan's Red, White and Blue sale. The sale is part of a promotion that will give free American flags with each purchase of a new or used car at the dealership. Schwan's also proudly provides a military discount on their products.

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