NORTH OGDEN — On a brisk Saturday morning, many in northern Weber County saw streaks of red, white and blue fall from the sky.
Minutes before 11 a.m., an American flag — appropriately named “The Major” — was unfurled in North Ogden’s Coldwater Canyon.
“Everything went as well as we anticipated,” said Kirk Chugg, director for the North Ogden branch of Follow the Flag. “It went just as we planned.”
The Major was named after Maj. Brent R. Taylor, the North Ogden mayor killed Nov. 3, 2018, in Afghanistan. The Saturday flag display was just a day shy of the one-year anniversary of Taylor’s death.
Though volunteers arrived early Saturday, the work needed to hang the flag began much sooner. Chugg said about 18 people worked on the required rigging for about nine hours on Friday in preparation for Saturday.
At around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, it was about 15 degrees outside, Chugg said. However, that didn’t stop around 200 people from being on hand to help out. Among those volunteers, siblings of Taylor were in attendance. Alongside the brothers was U.S. Army Spc. Jessie Brown, who was wounded in the same attack that killed Taylor.
Jennie Taylor, Brent Taylor’s wife, was at the front of the pack as the flag was carried up the mountain, and also maintained some rigging while putting up the flag. Just behind her was another face familiar to Utahns: Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.
“He has family ties to North Ogden,” Chugg said.
Chugg added that Cox was invited to attend the community Veterans Day Program that will be held Sunday at the Barker Park Amphitheater in North Ogden. Shortly after receiving the invite, Cox asked the organization if he could help out with the group’s Saturday efforts.
Once up on the mountain, the flag slowly crept across a line that spanned Coldwater Canyon.
Down in the valley, the flag line could be seen from any one of three North Ogden city parks. At Oaklawn Park, dozens of cars sat in a parking lot eagerly awaiting the reveal. Some were tightly bundled, mugs in hand. Others were sitting inside their cars trying to stay warm.
As the flag began to reveal itself, some cheered, some clapped and some honked their car horns.
Chugg said the flag will continue to fly in Coldwater Creek until Nov. 12, the day after Veteran’s Day. That’s the ideal date, that is. Chugg said as long as the weather cooperates, like it did Saturday, Nov. 12 will be the day The Major will likely be taken down.
“Today we had ideal conditions, we really couldn’t ask for better weather,” he said.
Though the flag that carries Taylor’s namesake was revealed just a day prior to the anniversary of his death, Chugg emphasized how the enormous American flag is not just about a single person, but it is meant to fly for everyone.
“We do this to honor all of our veterans,” Chugg said. “It’s not just for one person, it’s for everyone.”
The Veteran’s Day program will take place from 5-6 p.m. Sunday at the Barker Park Amphitheater, located at 2376 Fruitland Drive in North Ogden. The American Red Cross will have a blood drive in Brent Taylor’s honor on Nov. 8 from 2-8 p.m. at the Pleasant View South Stake Center, located at 3602 N. 500 West.