According to section 1922-A of the United States Code, 1994 edition, a mammoth House of Representatives document covering the rules of law throughout the country, "It shall be the duty of the county commissioners of each county to provide flags on each Memorial Day with which to decorate the graves of all deceased service-persons..."
The county commissioners give the responsibility to their Veterans Affairs chair.
As of Friday morning, a little more than a week before the Memorial Day observance on May 25, Crawford County still didn't have the flags needed to perform this duty.
Their order of over 15,000 flags was apparently sitting in a Flag Zone warehouse on the other side of state.
Flag Zone president Dan Ziegler, whose company supplies millions of "stick flags" across the country, said the inventory was available to fill the order. But when Governor Wolf shut down all non-essential life sustaining businesses, Flag Zone complied. The company is located in Montgomery county, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus.
With Memorial Day approaching he had grown frustrated.
"I'm really beside myself as president of this company," Ziegler said.
Digiacomo was too.
Friday morning, with no flags in hand and Flag Zone unable to promise delivery, Digiacomo began hoping they would arrive in time for the Fourth of July.
As some people complained to Digiacomo, others on several different fronts were stepping up to help solve the problem.
Local state officials got on board earlier in the week to request Gov. Wolf grant Flag Zone a waiver to get the flags out before Memorial Day.
Sen. Scott Hutchinson wrote "...shipping the flags would require very few staff and could be done safely. Certainly placing the flags in cemeteries could be done while practicing the social distancing you recommend. Memorial Day is less than two weeks away. With your cooperation I believe there is still time to continue this time honored and solemn tradition."
Rep. Brad Roae wrote "I am requesting that you advise companies that ship flags to be placed at veteran’s graves that they can ship flags to county veteran services offices."
Several media inquiries also made their way to the governor's office.
By the end of the day Friday, Crawford County was advised they will be getting their flags.
Prior to the late Friday announcement concerned citizens took some matters into their own hands. Though Digiacomo said he wished they didn't feel they had to, because it is the county's responsibility, he appreciated their efforts.
The Titusville American Legion Post 368 members independently searched for the flags they needed for their veterans. "We begged and borrowed," said post member Harry Gustafson.
The Titusville Legion alternates the annual duty to put up the flags with the local VFW post. They normally get the flags from the county. When they heard Crawford's flags might not arrived, they reached out to posts in Venango County and Union City. They were able to borrow the 2,500 flags they needed and put them out on Saturday.
Venango County Veterans Affairs chief Fred Weaver said they had ordered their flags early and they were delivered before the shutdown. They worked with Titusville American Legion and agreed to share some duties.
"You can't leave the dead behind," said Rodney Weaver. "He was upset about it," his mother said of her son. "He thought they had flags all those years, they should have them this year too," she said.
She thought she would only need a few flags, but upon further inspection she needed more. "We made three trips to the stores, we raided them all." she said, adding that she insisted the flags had to be made in America. As of Friday, the Weavers put out 83 flags in all, spending under $100.