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Did You Know
National Flag Week Started In Montrose?

Montrose’s “Sir” Vito Cannella, one of the founders of National Flag Week, proudly waves “Old Glory.”
Montrose’s “Sir” Vito Cannella, one of the founders of National Flag Week, proudly waves “Old Glory.”

Have you noticed a lot of American flags flying proudly throughout the Montrose Shopping Park? It’s in celebration of National Flag Week, which started right here in Montrose. Here’s the story.

In June of 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed the proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as national Flag Week. During this time, all citizens are encouraged to proudly display the flag of the United States, aka “Old Glory.” One of the key men in bringing this legislation about was Montrose’s own Vito Cannella.

Vito’s story is an interesting one. The son of Sicilian parents, Vito and Anna, Vito was born in 1928 in Trieste, Italy. He also has two brothers, Giuseppe and Luigi. Now that’s Italian!

Vito came to America in 1950. In 1958 he opened Vito’s Barber Shop in the heart of Montrose. He also served as the postmaster of Montrose in the 1960s when the Montrose Shopping Park was born.

Fast forward to today. Vito is in his 80s and still going strong. He continues to use his barbering skills working at the Montrose Barber Shop. He can always be found leading the Pledge of Allegiance at our Memorial Service and handing out flag stickers. He is a beloved part of our town. In 2009, on Italian Republic Day, Vito was awarded Knight of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy. Yes, Sir Vito is a knight. I don’t know of many other barbers with that title, do you?

In 2010, Vito received yet another honor. He, along with another gentleman, were chosen as “Men of the Year” by the Federated Italo-Americans.

Vito is one of many special people who have helped to make Montrose what it is today. It gives me great joy to walk down Honolulu Avenue and see our American flags waving among the jacaranda trees, the beautiful purple ones now in bloom. I think it would also give Vito great joy if you were to stop by the Montrose Barber Shop to say “thank you.”

Summer and red, white, and blue just go together. Many of our stores are in the spirit with patriotic window displays and seasonal merchandise. Check out the Montrose Shopping Park Facebook page for the latest news and photos. Celebrate National Flag Week and make Montrose your summer place!