SOUTH OGDEN — Richard Goff’s growing collection of flags is a marvel to his neighbors, and the Navy veteran says it’s a hobby he’s happy to keep building upon.
He and his wife, Christine, a former Army medic, on Tuesday showed a visitor their latest acquisition, a U.S. Space Force flag.
Goff has 10 flagpoles in their Madison Avenue front yard. He had all 10 of his American flags flying Tuesday.
On other days, he flies other flags, such as the flags of the military branches.
“I’m not out to accomplish anything,” Goff said. “I’m just proud of the American flag and the military.”
He said veterans and Americans “get a raw thing once in a while” and that by flying the flags he can demonstrate his support.
A neighbor down the street, Betty Johnson, said Goff deserves praise for his flag display.
And it has become infectious. Goff said he’s installed flags for Johnson and a few others. Several other U.S. flags were flying Tuesday in the neighborhood.
“With the way things are such a mess these days, I think that to see these flags, it’s beautiful,” Johnson said.
“We’ve lost the United States of America and we’ve got to get back in order,” she said. “Everybody’s all political. Everybody’s out of key. We’re not on track.”
Goff has a routine each morning, beginning at about 7:30. He makes coffee for his mother-in-law and then goes out to put up his flags.
“If it’s raining or there are high winds, I don’t put them out,” he said.
Christine Goff shares her husband’s fervor for the flags and the military.
“We love the heritage, we love the tradition,” she said.
Her father was a Marine cook in World War II and Goff’s father was a B-52 tail gunner.
Christine Goff’s also made a hobby of digging into the genealogy of their families and discovered a long line of military service on both sides.
She learned, for instance, that one of Richard’s forebearers was a Union soldier in the Civil War who died in a Confederate prison.
The Goffs said they’ve been flying flags since they were married 45 years ago.
Now that they’re both retired, Richard has plans to expand his flag farm.
“He wants to eventually get all 50 states’ flags,” Christine said, smiling. “I think he might have to get the little ones you just poke into the ground.”
Richard said, however, pointing to their side yard, there’s plenty of expansion room left.
The Goffs also brought out their other flags, those for the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and more.
Richard showed how he meticulously folds them to prevent wrinkles.
They also fly the Italy and Ireland flags — her ancestry is Italian and his Irish. He also plans to soon acquire a Cinco de Mayo flag in honor of a neighbor.
On the highest flagpole, usually flying the American flag, the Utah state flag accompanied it just below on Tuesday.
The Utah flag was flying because Christine is an Ogden-area native.
Richard Goff said he planned to fly the Colorado state flag Wednesday — he’s a transplant from there.
The Goffs have four children and 10 grandchildren, and they say most have inherited the flag-flying gene.