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Why doesn’t ILM fly a New Hanover County flag?

Ken Little
StarNews
The New Hanover County flag is not flown at Wilmington International Airport. StarNews photo by Si Cantwell.

The New Hanover County flag is not flown at Wilmington International Airport. StarNews photo by Si Cantwell.

Q. Why doesn’t ILM fly a New Hanover County flag? They fly a U.S. flag, state flag, then their own ILM flag, but not a New Hanover County flag.

NOTE: This answer originally contained incorrect information regarding the existence of a New Hanover County flag. Here is the correct answer:

A. There are only three flagpoles at Wilmington International Airport, and they’re all in use.

The county owns a majority of the airport property, but ILM is operated by the independent and autonomous Airport Authority. Its members are appointed by the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, airport Director Jon Rosborough said.

“The airport receives no county funding,” he said. “We fly the American and North Carolina flags as we are required to do.”

Before a major airport renovation was completed in 2004, there were only two flagpoles at ILM, along with a clock where the poles are located, Rosborough said.

“When the renovation was complete, we removed the old Reeds clock and put a new one in the airport terminal. At that point, we added a third flagpole to fly the ILM flag for branding (and) marketing purposes,” Rosborough said.

The cost of a commercial flagpole varies depending on the height and model.

For instance, a 50-foot flagpole sold by the Minnesota-based American Flagpole & Flag Co. costs between $2,550 and $3,135, depending on the model.

Should the Airport Authority decide to pay for another flagpole, a New Hanover County flag will be provided upon request, county spokesman Charles Smith said.

But that decision is strictly up to airport administrators, Smith said.

The county flag is currently flown at three locations: the county Government Center, the county courthouse and the Senior Resource Center, Smith said.

Wilmington International Airport “is not part of county government,” Smith said. “It’s my understanding that the commissioners would like to present them with a flag but (flying the flag) is not our decision. The airport is under no obligation to fly a county flag.”

Flying a county flag in addition to the three flags already in place at ILM could unfurl a different issue, Smith said.

“If the city was to present (Rosborough) with a flag, would he fly all those flags and the flags from the beach towns? How would that be managed?” Smith said.

All airport officials have to do is indicate they would like a county flag “and we will make that happen,” Smith said.

“To my knowledge, there have been no arrangements to present a flag. I don’t know if that will actually come to reality,” he added.

RELATED LINKS:

Where is the best place for “plane spotting” at ILM? Is there a park or road where locals watch landings and takeoffs?

Is there a secret underground military base at Wilmington International Airport?

User-contributed question by:
Woody

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