CARLINVILLE, IL (KTVI) – After two decades an American flag is finally flying again over the Macoupin County Illinois Courthouse. It’s one of the most beautiful courthouses in all of Illinois. Replacing the flag on top is not an easy task. Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl was hearing from many citizens. Kahl said, “Everybody was wondering why it wasn’t up.”
Sheriff Kahl was determined to put the flag back. He said two anonymous donors agreed to pay for the job. An east coast company was contacted but quickly rejected the offer. Kahl added, “He said he turned down one other job in his life time and this was the second one, he would not climb it.”
So they turned to 59-year-old Darrell Goodwin. Goodwin said, “It’s always kind of scary, you don’t know what’s going to happen.” In 1995 Goodwin climbed the dome and installed the last flag to fly here. With his son’s help he tried last month but his lung illness stopped him in his tracks. So, Goodwin brought in Steven and Richard Brooks. Steven’s a steel worker, Richard would hold the lifeline. Steven Brooks said, “Heights don’t bother me that much.” He climbed an historic structure; it cost a million dollars when built in 1867. The sheriff showed us inside just below the dome. The climbers followed many staircases to the outside. Richard Brooks said, “It went pretty good once he got up there. Steven Brooks had the flag in place in an hour. A feeling of patriotism and grateful filled the farming community. Sheriff Kahl said, “I’ve heard nothing but positive.” Richard Brooks added, “I live that flag.”
In three years when the new flag wears out everyone involved seemed committed to replace it right away. People in Carlinville said when the courthouse was built a few years after the Civil War locals were hopeful Carlinville would become the state capital. They lost out to Springfield.
In case you're wondering, the flag is 186 feet above the ground.