A Penny For Your Thoughts: The News of Greater Falls Church

October 11, 2006 5:16 PM0 comments

There was a flag-raising in Annandale last week. Not just any flag, however, but the brand new Annandale flag, the result of a community contest sponsored by the Annandale Chamber of Commerce, which attracted dozens of entries. The final design, modified by the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), was selected by a vote of attendees at the chamber’s annual dinner in June. The winning designer was teenager Michelle Redmon of Annandale, who received a $1000 prize from the chamber.

The new flag has a field of medium blue, reflective of the Scottish river and town of Annan, for which Annandale is named. White stripes representing Little River Turn-pike and Columbia Pike, two of the area’s historic commercial roads, converge at Toll-house Park in the center of Annandale. An elongated red oval embraces a stylized dogwood tree and cardinal, Virginia’s state tree and bird, which also symbolizes the revitalization of Annandale.

The flag project was initiated by Sami Kalifa, owner of the Flower Den in Annandale and a former chamber president. In remarks at the first flag-raising at Cannon Park in downtown Annandale, Mr. Kalifa noted that, as an immigrant, “Annandale is the center of my life…home, business, and family. We are not a city and we have no mayor. But now we have a flag.” Peter Ansoff, Annandale resident and NAVA president, said that “Creating a new flag is an art, not a science. It should express one or two basic ideas, and be recognizable from a distance.” Mr. Ansoff noted that 27 variations had been presented to the NAVA panel before the final one was selected. The flag-raising ceremony was assisted by American Legion Post 1976, which also hosted a reception. For photos and more information, log on to www.annandaleflag.com.

There was a playground opening this week, not in Mason District or Falls Church, but worth mentioning, and seeing. Clemyjontri Park, the first county playground fully accessible to all children, was dedicated Monday under a brilliant fall sky. Clemyjontri is a place where children who use wheelchairs, walkers or braces, or who have sensory or developmental disabilities, can use the play equipment just like any other child. The two-acre playground is part of an 18-acre property donated to the Fairfax County Park Authority by Mrs. Adele Lebowitz. Clemyjontri is named for her four children: Carolyn, Emily, John, and Patrina. The colorful playground, which has a soft rubberized surface instead of wood chips or asphalt, also includes a restored full-size old-fashioned carousel complete with tinkling music. Fundraising for the public-private partnership that built the park was spearheaded by Dan and Julie Clemente, who also founded the Friends of Clemyjontri Park to help provide maintenance. Clemyjontri Park is located at 6319 Georgetown Pike (Route 193) just west of its intersection with Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123) in McLean.

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