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Archive for Sunday, September 16, 2001

Newspapers in state rush to fill U.S. flag demands

September 16, 2001

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When Kansans clamored for American flags to display in homes and store windows, newspapers responded by producing editions with full-color flag pages some accompanied by patriotic slogans or editors' heartfelt comments to readers.

The El Dorado Times and the Newton Kansan both printed flag pages on Wednesday, a day after terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and the crash of a hijacked plane in Pennsylvania.

Since then, many of the state's newspapers have followed suit or announced plans to do so. The Lawrence Journal-World printed a full-color flag on page 4E of its Saturday edition. The flag, suitable for window display, has a full-page timeline of events of the terrorist attacks on the reverse page.

"The public reaction was enormous," said Rick Thames, editor of The Wichita Eagle, which printed flags on the back pages of its Friday and Saturday editions. "The (Friday) edition sold out before noon."

In a column accompanying Friday's flag page, Thames wrote:

"Beneath this flag, we are all family. Kin will have their differences, will fuss and fight. But in times of crisis, they will be there for one another.

"Rarely has that red, white and blue promise been more reassuring than now."

The Pratt Tribune ran a full-color flag on its back page on Thursday. The Augusta Gazette, The Hutchinson News, The Hays Daily News, The Manhattan Mercury and The McPherson Sentinel all included full-color flag pages in their Friday editions.

The Augusta and El Dorado papers' flag pages also bore the additional message "I'm proud to be an American" a line from country singer Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA."

The message "United We Stand" accompanied the Lawrence Journal-World flag.

And the back of The Mercury's flag page included an invitation for readers to donate to a disaster fund created by the newspaper and the Robert R. McCormick Tribune foundation.

The Hutchinson News had already printed flag pages in holiday editions this year as part of its "Salute to Old Glory" program, underwritten by sponsoring advertisers.

"In light of the tragic events of this week, however, a number of readers requested that The News reprint the flag in today's editions," editor and publisher Jim Bloom wrote. "We hope you display the colors on the opposite side of this page with pride and dignity, as a small way to honor those who lost their lives Tuesday in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania."

The Olathe Daily News printed a flag as a stand-alone insert in Saturday's editions, and The Garden City Telegram, The Atchison Globe, The Morning Sun of Pittsburg, The Emporia Gazette and The Dodge City Daily Globe also printed flag pages on Saturday.

The Morning Sun also found sponsors to underwrite an extra 5,000 copies of its flag edition, for distribution to schools in its coverage area.

The Coffeyville Journal plans a flag page for today.

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