The story behind the American flags on the bucking chutes
Cherokee, Iowa – Patriotism is at the core of each Barnes PRCA Rodeo production. The Iowa-based stock contracting company is known for paying respect to the United States Armed Forces during their rodeo performances. American flags are flown over the bucking chutes and during the grand entry along with service branch flags representing the United States Armed Forces presented on horseback. Old Glory’s presence continues to be a signature element on the bucking chutes at every Barnes PRCA Rodeo across the country.
“My dad was a Marine who served in Korea and I was raised in a very patriotic way. Rodeo is a true American sport. The American flag represents the strength and unity of our great country. Since I was in Kindergarten I can remember the American flags flying over our (Barnes’) bucking chutes,” explained Marty Barnes, on the importance of the American flag at his rodeos.
This year Barnes PRCA Rodeo purchased new American flags. They are replacing each of their existing American flags with ones flown on a military mission. Jacob Bossman, Regional Director for Senator Grassley helped facilitate the introduction to the Iowa Air National Guard 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City.
Rodeo fans will enjoy hearing the journey behind the American flags as the rodeo announcer provides detail throughout the performance. Each American flag will be flown as Old Glory and presented on horseback for the national anthem. Each time a new mission American flag is received the preceding one will be placed on the bucking chutes.
The first flag was flown on January 20, 2017, aboard a 185th Air Refueling Wing KC-135R Stratotanker over the skies of Missouri during an air-to-air refueling mission in support of the Global War on Terrorism on Inauguration Day. On this mission, the KC-135 and crew offloaded approximately 20,000 pounds of fuel to 10 A-10’s.