Pat Donnelly moved to Macon in 1968, so she’s seen a lot of changes in the 50 years she has been here. She can remember the city’s claim to fame long before it was hailed as the cherry blossom capital of the universe. It once was known as Flag City USA.
Former Mayor Ronnie Thompson made the proclamation on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 1970. Machine Gun Ronnie could look out his window at City Hall and see the “Avenue of Flags.’’ There were 54 of them waving in the breeze across three blocks of Poplar Street. They weren’t run up the flagpoles for show in the days between Flag Day, on June 14, and the Fourth of July. They were permanent residents. Macon no longer wears the Flag City name tag. The aging, unsightly poles were chased away by the urban redesign of Poplar.
But Pat now can stand in her driveway and admire her own Avenue of Flags.