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Flag at Oak Park pays tribute to Earl Allen

MDN File Photo Earl Allen, at right center, watches as the flagpole he had moved to Oak Park Shopping Center was dedicated on Memorial Day 1993.

The late Earl Allen of Minot was well known as a longtime Realtor, developer and a city watchdog. He was also very patriotic.

Allen opened Oak Park Shopping Center, the first shopping center in North Dakota, in the 1960s.

After John Moses Air Force Regional Hospital, originally John Moses Veterans Administration hospital, was demolished Allen bought the flagpole for the shopping center and had it moved there. That was back during the winter of 1992-93.

“He was so patriotic he wasn’t going to let it go to waste,” Al Schon, owner of Oak Park Theater, said of Allen’s project to buy the flagpole and have it moved to the shopping center.

On Memorial Day 1993, a ceremony was held in the shopping center’s parking lot to dedicate the flagpole and its 20-by-30-foot flag. It was a special event with local military veterans raising the flag on the flagpole and numerous people attending.

Eloise Ogden/MDN A U.S. flag flying from the flagpole at Oak Park Shopping Center honors the late Earl Allen and his patriotism.

The flagpole went through the 2011 flood. For a few years there has been no flag flying from the flagpole.

Based on information provided by Tim Knutson, Allen’s stepson, about the flagpole, Schon recently purchased a large flag and it is waving from the flagpole.

Allen died May 23 at the age of 100.

Schon said the flag now waving from the flagpole is a tribute to Allen, a military veteran, his family and his patriotism to this country.

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