BAKER — Baker School's Junior ROTC corps of cadets is raising funds to replace the flagpole in Griffith Stadium.

“We have an old flag pole that’s kind of skinny and broken in our football field,” ROTC instructor Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joe Nunley said.

 “The pole is so thin that every year the wind blows and makes it crooked,” he said. “Every year, we get the tractor and push the flag pole back up straight.”

During ceremonies and national days of mourning, cadets who raise and lower the flag face more challenges.

“The pole is too small to have the flag at half-(staff) because it almost touches the ground,” Nunley said. “A taller and more substantial pole is needed to honor the flag.”

Having Old Glory properly displayed requires a new, sturdier flag pole, Nunley said. Cadets need $5,000 for a new, 200-mph-rated pole, base, mounting hardware and installation.

“We thought for (the school's) 100th anniversary we’d replace it with a new one.”

Nunley said the cadets hope replacing the pole will become an alumni and community effort.

“Several alumni have already made donations, and we may even put their names on the commemorative plaque,” he said.

“We continue to solicit donations and inform Gator families of this effort.  However, I am afraid that without corporate sponsorship or larger community involvement, we will fall short of the cost.”