As a patriotic gesture after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Bodger Seeds planted a Floral Flag in Lompoc, California in 2002. It had been 50 years since they have planted such a flag. There have been four Floral Flags planted by Bodger Seeds in Lompoc during the last century: 1942, 1943, 1945, 1952. All of the flags were comprised of Red, White and Blue Larkspur flowers. Some of the flags were planted in a background of White Larkspur.
The 2002 Floral Flag is 740 feet wide and 390 feet high and maintains the proper Flag dimensions as described in Executive Order #10834. This Flag is 6.65 acres and is the first Floral Flag to be planted with 5 pointed Stars comprised of White Larkspur. Each Star is 24 feet in diameter; Each Stripe is 30 feet wide. This Flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants with 4-5 flower stems each for a total of more than 2 million flowers. You can drive by this flag on V Street south of Ocean Ave. in Lompoc, California.
The first Floral Flag was planted a week after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 and was in bloom during the early summer of 1942. This flag was 455 feet long and 260 feet high, equaling 2.75 acres. It was planted in a 9 acre field of White Larkspur. The Stars were 10' x 10' and the Stripes were 22 feet wide. It was estimated to contain 200,000 Larkspur plants.
The 1952 Floral Flag was planted with Stripes of varying widths so that the flag would retain proper perspective from the top of Lookout Point, approximately 1/4 mile to the south. This Flag was 7 acres square: 550 feet long and 540 feet wide. The Stripes were 33 feet wide on the south end of the flag and became progressively wider to a maximum of 53 feet wide on the north end of the flag.
Planting the flag was accomplished with a 4 row and a 2 row planter. Since each Stripe needed to be 18 rows (30 feet wide), the 4 row planter would make 4 passes planting one color and the two row planter a 5th pass planting 2 rows of one color and 2 rows of the next Stripe color. Could be confusing, but thanks to the excellent planning of the production crew under the direction of Oscar Santini Fletes, all rows were perfect!
This 2002 Flag is the first to have 5 pointed floral Stars. All previous flags had square blocks of White Larkspur for Stars. First the blue field (210 ft X 296 ft.) was planted. Once the Blue Larkspur plants began to sprout, a 24 foot metal frame in the shape of a 5 pointed star was placed precisely where each Star would be. The Blue Larkspur plants within this frame were removed and White Larkspur plants were planted in their place. This was repeated 49 more times to make 50 Stars. There are 5 rows of 6 Stars and 4 rows of 5 stars staggered in a way that makes the stars evenly spaced from one another. The Star template was made by Salvador Reyna, Andres Cordova and Ruben Cruz. Sowing of the Stars was done by Bernardo Velazquez, Carlos Padilla and Juan Diego Hernandez.