That flag you see at the Olympics? It might’ve flown in West Chester

A flag flown by West Chester Twp. late last year could be visible on the podium with U.S. athletes this month during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The flag, part of the Team USA Bobsled and Skeleton American Flag First Responders Relay, flew at West Chester Fire Headquarters Oct. 26, where the honor guard was present for a brief ceremony. It also flew briefly at the West Chester Police Department. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
A flag flown by West Chester Twp. late last year could be visible on the podium with U.S. athletes this month during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The flag, part of the Team USA Bobsled and Skeleton American Flag First Responders Relay, flew at West Chester Fire Headquarters Oct. 26, where the honor guard was present for a brief ceremony. It also flew briefly at the West Chester Police Department. CONTRIBUTED

A flag once flown in West Chester Twp. could be visible on the podium with U.S. athletes during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

West Chester Fire Department and West Chester Police Department took part in the Team USA Bobsled and Skeleton American Flag First Responders Relay, joining communities from across the nation doing the same.

The event included each community flying American flags above local safety services headquarters in a show of solidarity. West Chester received the flag from first responders in Trotwood, flew it Oct. 26 and relayed it to Michigan.

A flag flown by West Chester Twp. in 2017 could be visible on the podium with U.S. athletes  during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The flag, part of the Team USA Bobsled and Skeleton American Flag First Responders Relay, flew at West Chester Fire Headquarters Oct. 26, where the honor guard was present for a brief ceremony. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
A flag flown by West Chester Twp. in 2017 could be visible on the podium with U.S. athletes during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The flag, part of the Team USA Bobsled and Skeleton American Flag First Responders Relay, flew at West Chester Fire Headquarters Oct. 26, where the honor guard was present for a brief ceremony. CONTRIBUTED

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The flag flew at West Chester Fire Headquarters, where the honor guard was present for a brief ceremony. It also flew briefly at the West Chester Police Department.

The fire department became aware of the request through several firefighters organizations, according to West Chester Twp. spokeswoman Barb Wilson.

“This is the first time any of us can recall (being asked to take part in such a ceremony),” Wilson said.

The flag relay, a national event similar to the relay of the Olympic torch, was created and coordinated nationally by Matthew Troy, a USA Bobsled videographer, flag relay coordinator and volunteer firefighter/EMT in Connecticut.

Troy, who was traveling to South Korea this week, could not be reached for comment. He told the Associated Press he was inspired by a flag etiquette presentation for Olympic athletes.

The flags were presented to the athletes for their journey to the 2018 Winter Olympics. Troy said the flags may accompany athletes if they make the podium.

“The flags were to be presented to the team in Lake Placid at the Olympic Training Center before they left for Korea,” Wilson said.

Troy told SweetwaterNow that the four-flag project was inspired by Chris Fogt, a bobsled push athlete and active serviceman who gave a flag etiquette class to all of the athletes last summer. All four flags flew in New York, as the bobsled and skeleton teams are based in Lake Placid, N.Y. Many of the flags flew in the hometowns or college towns of many of the athletes.

The flags were presented in January to Fogt of the men’s bobsled team, Kendall Wesenberg of the women’s skeleton team, Elana Meyers Taylor and Jamie Greubel-Poser of the women’s bobsled team and Matt Antoine and John Daly of the men’s skeleton team.