New flags along Montauk Highway

The Mastic-Shirley Chamber of Commerce has installed flags on every other wooden pole from Kohl’s to Herkimer Street, just in time for Memorial Day

Montauk Highway in Shirley east of the William Floyd Parkway is a fairly established part of the peninsula’s busy business corridor. Trees along the stretch beginning nears Kohl’s shopping center and heading eastbound toward Mastic are beginning to bud, and further adding to the appeal and aesthetic of the area has been a recent push by the Mastic-Shirley Chamber of Commerce.

The latest order of business was installing 50 American flags on the wooden poles beginning at Kohl’s down to the Herkimer Street/Montauk Highway intersection. Twenty-five flags are situated on each side of the road on every other wooden pole.

“People say that there are no decorations on Montauk Highway,” said Beth Wahl, president of the chamber. “This is our business corridor. It should look welcoming to the community, giving the community a sense of pride.”

“While we are a business organization, we’re also a community organization. We want to work with our community to make [it] better. We do a lot of things within the community.”

Wahl said that the chamber website’s hits skyrocketed on the day the flags were installed.

The day we put the flags up, we had over 400 hits in one day,” she said. “People are so happy to see it.”

A second phase of this project, which would head west on Montauk Highway from Kohl’s toward William Floyd Parkway, is in the planning stages. The first phase did not include this particular stretch because of the complication of the metal poles situated there, as opposed to the wooden poles adjacent to the street eastward.

The timeliness of the installation is notable with Memorial Day approaching. Wahl said that the American flags would be changed out during the holiday season to generic holiday-related themes, like a snowflake, as opposed to a Christmas theme.

This past winter, the chamber situated a 17-foot Christmas tree and a 9-foot menorah at the intersection of William Floyd Parkway and Montauk Highway by the statue of William Floyd. Wahl said that the chamber plans to continue this for future holidays.

“Depending on funding, we may do a little more decorating there this coming holiday season, too,” she added.

That stretch of Montauk Highway is also home to four auto/tire establishments, including Tire City. Owner Mike Flynn expressed appreciation for the efforts of the chamber.

“It is a very patriotic sentiment,” Flynn said. “The flags outside my business and up and down this busy corridor can only be a plus for all businesses here.”

Flynn expressed concern, however, as to how and when the flags will be maintained.

Years ago, the chamber would put up banners on Montauk Highway during the holiday season, and the chamber initially had this project geared toward banners, not flags.

“Because of the height of the electrical wires, that became an issue, since they came too close to the wires, whereas it is not an issue with flags since they go out over the road,” Wahl said.

Although the flags will need to be replaced sooner than banners, as the flags are not as sturdy, Wahl said the necessity of eventual replacement is something that the chamber recognizes and is willing tackle when that time comes.

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