CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
New York artist and patriot Scott LoBaido posed with his star-spangled truck yesterday at Boston's North End Pizza Bakery in Aiea, the site of his next flag painting.
Patriotic painter finds isle canvas
The roof at Boston's Pizza is chosen for one flag in a 50-state mission
Scott LoBaido looks at a roof and sees a blank canvas waiting to be filled with the glory of American patriotism.
In other words, a flag.
With a self-imposed deadline of Sept. 11, when he plans to arrive back in his native New York City, LoBaido is in the midst of a 50-state tour of painting the American flag on the rooftops of this land, one per state, Old Glory on the shingles from sea to shining sea.
Today he begins Hawaii's, atop the Boston's North End Pizza in Aiea.
"Perfect location," announced LoBaido, lighting one cigarette from another and hopping from foot to foot -- he's a restlessly native New Yorker. "A done deal. The owner just called and said, 'Go for it.'"
The Boston's rooftop is asphalt-shingled (the outdoor latex sticks to it), it's angled (so the flag can be seen from both the air and the street) and has pleasing dimensions (big enough to be spectacular, small enough so it's not like painting a football field).
Most important, the site is frequented by military personnel. "There's no better cause than supporting our veterans," said LoBaido. "This is a big thank-you from me to them."
Told that the buildings across the street are Navy housing, LoBaido literally shivered with pleasure. "Man! That's what I'm talking about! Supporting our troops with basic patriotism in a way they can see it every day."
The tour began as a largely self-funded effort, but his wallet ran dry after about six states. The "Flags Across America" project relies on contributions, such as Sherwin-Williams' continual donation of paint and Matson's donation of shipping. "My old flagmobile and I arrived here courtesy of Matson," said LoBaido. "I was the only passenger on their magnificent ship. Now, where's the Arizona Memorial? I have to go pay my respects."
Barring rain, LoBaido expects to finish the flag rooftop by Monday. Flags Across America's progress can be followed at his Web site, CreativePatriot.org.