Great Flag Caper: 40,000 U.S. Flags Planted in Irving for 4th of July

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IRVING -- If you're in Irving, you know when the 4th of July is getting close.  It's hard to miss all those flags!

"We certainly make a statement," Nell Anne Hunt laughed, "with 40,000 flags."

Yeah... that's a lot of American flags!

Hunt started the project 23 years ago with "only" 200 flags, all in her neighborhood.  Since then, it's grown into a full-blown tradition.

"We cover the whole city," Hunt told NewsFix. "And it's a big city."

Irving's a lot of ground to cover, alright!  But lucky for Ms. Hunt, she's got plenty of help.

"It's all of our volunteers," she said. "We have over 300, and everybody has a wonderful time putting out the flags."

There are even team tee-shirts this year, for what Hunt calls the Great Flag Caper.

"I named it that," said Hunt. "It described it because we just whoosh in and paint the town red, white, and blue.  And then in a couple of days we take them all down and it's gone."

The flags may be gone after the 4th, but the patriotism and the sense of community last year-round.

"A lot of people have said, 'I didn't even know the neighbors on my street until I started putting out the flags, and now we're deciding we're gonna have barbecues together,'" Hunt recalled. "We're all alike.  We come together and realize that instead of stressing the differences."

Hey, what's more American than that!

Hunt said, "Our theme is, 'We don't live in America; America lives in us.'"