Teenager retires, replaces American flag on top of I-74 crane

BETTENDORF, Iowa-- A brand new American flag is flying over the bridge construction project along I-74 tonight. And it's all part of a special mission.

Liam Willcox was on a mission Monday, replacing an American flag that had flown 100 feet in the air for a whole year.

"It's all torn, tattered," he says. "We're gonna go retire it."

And Willcox has a brand new flag to put up.

"It was a bit overwhelming and a little scary," Willcox says after the crane was brought down so he could replace the flag. "But it is pretty cool that these guys took the time out of their day... and help me do something that I just do for a hobby."

It's all part of his Flag Restoration Project. He wants to educate people about proper flag etiquette and to replace old flags.

And it means a lot to the team working on the I-74 project.

"So we like to work under the flag to show everybody that we're out here and what we're building is for them, for our taxpayers," Safety Director Shawn Meier says.

Today's flag was the 192nd flag Willcox has ceremoniously replaced.

"I think this is awesome," he says. "That flag is going to last so much longer than the previous one. They really didn't skimp on it. This flag is going to be up there until the bridge is done."

Willcox says he wants to replace all the flags flying over the I-74 construction.

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