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NEWPORT BEACH : Flag to Fly for the Bill of Rights

A huge flag mounted on an 80-foot-high pole will soon be flying above Peninsula Park in Newport Beach to commemorate the bicentennial of the Bill of Rights.

Plans call for a 20-by-30-foot flag on the pole in the park, at the foot of Balboa Pier. Ten granite plaques marking each of the first amendments to the Constitution will surround the pole.

“This would be a long-term, lasting way for the city to commemorate the bicentennial,” said Ronald A. Whitley, city director of parks, beaches and recreation, who is overseeing the project.

A committee has been working on the idea of a commemorative flag for nearly a year, but only recently agreed to a location for the monument. Committee members were torn between finding a central location for the memorial and one that would not block ocean and bay views for nearby homeowners.

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“It’s a good location. Almost everywhere else in town it would have prohibited views,” said Whitley, adding that residents were also concerned about possible noise problems from visitors to the monument.

A homeowners group in the area and another residential group have approved the plan.

The City Council has supported the plan and is expected to give final approval and $30,000 in funding at its meeting next week. The funds are expected to be allocated on the condition that the Bicentennial Committee coordinating the project raise about $15,000 in donations.

The group hopes to have the commemorative flagpole and base in place before the Dec. 15 bicentennial.

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