A Williston man channels his love for his country by working to spread patriotism all over the state.

Jim Swartout started a flag pole business back in 2016.

As a marine veteran who comes from a lineage of veterans, Swartout will travel from Williston to Fargo, and anywhere in between, to install flags and poles.

“I wanted a flag pole, just something to represent the country.”
Brian Keith, a Williston native, knew just who to call.

“I’m the ND Flag Pole Guy!”

In 2011, a job in the oil field brought Jim Swartout to the Peace Garden State.

“When things went south I had to make changes,” he said. “And this has been the best thing I think I’ve ever done. It’s different than I’ve ever done before. People put in a sidewalk because they need one. People install a flag pole, kind of because they need one, because out of their heart, they want to express their gratitude for America.”

People like Keith, a fellow military veteran who is proud to show off the stars and stripes.

“I change out my lower flag from time to time,” Keith said. “Right now I’ve got the law enforcement flag, the black and blue. I’ll fly the Army flag on it occasionally, the POW flag from time to time. But I always have the American flag up there.”

It all started about three years ago when Swartout heard a man call in to a talk radio show asking where to get a good flag pole in North Dakota.

“It burned in my heart for a couple of months and then we got licensed and insured and the day that my contractor’s license and business license came in, I got a flag pole installation for the City of Williston,” Swartout said proudly.

Since then, the ND Flag Pole Guy has installed more than 200 flag poles across the state.

On June 14, Swartout will celebrate Flag Day the only way he knows how, by installing an 80-foot flag pole in Mandan.