Fire Hose American Flag

By Lynda Millner   |   January 24, 2019
The flag for the dedication ceremony at the Courthouse

Donors, partners, and supporters gathered at the Santa Barbara Courthouse for an unusual dedication ceremony – a 7-foot-by-9-foot American flag made out of fire hose sourced from the Montecito and Santa Barbara fire departments and used in the Thomas Fire. It was made to honor the First Responders of the Montecito mudslides by retired Santa Barbara City fireman John Carrillo.

The flag will be on display in the main foyer of the courthouse until February 9 when it will be permanently installed at the main branch of Montecito Bank and Trust at 1010 State Street, or perhaps a school. The bank donated $10,000, which goes to local veterans and first responders of the 805 through Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF).

In attendance for the ceremony were Mayor Cathy Murillo, First District Supervisor Das Williams, PCVF co-founder John Blankenship, chief of Montecito Fire protection District Chip Hickman, Chairman and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust Janet Garufis, bank president George Leis, and Superior Court Judge Michael Carrozzo. Judge Brian Hill bought a smaller flag, which will hang in his courtroom. They can be ordered by calling (805) 969-0695 and each is signed and numbered. They come in various smaller sizes and all support veterans and first responders.

Montecito Bank and Trust president George Leis, Mayor Cathy Murillo, Montecito Bank and Trust Chairman and CEO Janet Garufis, and PCVF co-founder Hazel Blankenship at the flag dedication ceremony
Flag artist John Carrillo with his wife, Susan, at the Courthouse for the presentation

The artist, John, said he made the first one for himself but a friend thought he should make a run of them. PCVF co-founder Hazel Blankenship heard about it and it grew from there. The red came from red Montecito Fire Protection District hoses and the white from the Santa Barbara City Fire Department hoses. He paints the blue area on more hoses.

George Leis spoke, “I am proud of all the small loans Montecito Bank & Trust made to victims, both individual and business, of the mudslide who needed our help after the disaster.” As Das Williams said, “Darkness touched us.” Hazel Blankenship reminded us that the motto of PCVF is “Never to be forgotten.” What better way to remember than this flag?

For PCVF information you can call (805) 259-4394 or check out PCVF has events all year on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Veterans Day, and also the Military Ball.


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