Jan Dominguez of Mesa always tells people it was destiny for her to open a flag store. "I am a Navy veteran. My firstborn child was born on the Fourth of July. And my three children were born in the right order for their birthstones to be red, white and blue," said Dominguez, who opened Air A Zona Flag Co. about 14 years ago in Mesa with her sister, Diane Dilbeck.
Today is Flag Day, and residents throughout the East Valley have different ways of showing their patriotism.
Dominguez will spend her day selling flags at her store. Joseph "Papa Joe" Lazzara will shave the U.S. flag into people’s hair at his Chandler barbershop.
The Matthew B. Juan American Legion Post 35 in Chandler will hold a flag disposal ceremony. And the Mesa Buckhorn Elks Lodge 2656 and Boy Scout Troop 10 will talk about the history of each U.S. flag in a public flag retirement ceremony.
• Prestige Cleaners, a Scottsdale-based company, has a family tradition that gets more business around holidays such as Flag Day. The family-owned company offers a free flag cleaning service all year at its seven Valley locations, now all in Scottsdale.
Donn Frye, president of Prestige Cleaners, said his father, Don, always offered the flag cleaning service since the company began in 1964, and he just continued the tradition.
For information, call (480) 948-2781 or visit
• It’s part of an annual tradition at Papa Joe’s Video Cuts Barber Shop, 2018 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. Lazzara has shaved thousands of flags into people’s hair during his 20 years in Chandler. He also colors the flag in red, white and blue if the customer wants it.
"I’m an immigrant and I’m very proud to be here," said Lazzara, who moved from Sicily, 47 years ago. "This makes me a proud American."
The free service will be offered 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. The hair has to be short or Lazzara will charge for the haircut. For information, call (480) 963-2112.
• Faded, ripped and torn flags are formally retired in flag disposal ceremonies. The Matthew B. Juan American Legion Post 35 collects old flags all year and will ceremoniously burn them at 7 p.m. today at 2240 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler.
"It’s proper etiquette for the flag and promotes the proper respect for the flag," said Debra Munchbach, treasurer of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 35. "Flag burning goes way back to the ancient days." For information, call (480) 821-0002.
• The Elks and Boy Scout Troop 10 will observe Flag Day by telling each flag’s story and then conducting a flag burning ceremony. The event will be 7 p.m. today at the Mesa Buckhorn Elks Lodge 2656, 6718 E. Avalon St. in Mesa. For information, call (480) 981-3155.