Rock Hill bridge to be named for US flag waver



ROCK HILL, S.C. — A Rock Hill man who stood on a bridge over Interstate 77 the day after the 2001 terrorist attacks and waved the U.S. flag will likely have the bridge named for him.

A resolution was introduced last week to name the Sutton Road bridge over I-77 for Leonard Farrington, a Navy veteran of World War II who died in January 2012 at the age of 89, The Herald of Rock Hill reports.

“It will be unanimous,” said state Sen. Wes Hayes, R-Rock Hill, whose Senate resolution was introduced last week at the same time state Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill, submitted the same resolution in the House. “No doubt. We all want it. The man did a great thing.”

Farrington first headed to the bridge on Sept. 12, 2001, a day after terrorist attacks killed nearly 3,000 people. He returned every Sept. 11 to wave the U.S. flag in honor of his country and to remind terrorists that they couldn’t destroy a great place like the United States. He only stopped after a state trooper told him that he might cause a wreck on the interstate.

“Took the law to stop me,” Farrington said.

Farrington didn’t call attention to himself, sometimes asking reporters to go away. He told one: “Get outta here. I am waving a flag, not running for office.”

Over the past two years, members of a veterans’ advocacy group have started waving U.S. flags on all of York County’s bridges over I-77. One of the members of the group called Rolling Thunder suggested naming the bridge for Farrington.

“It was a no-brainer. Len deserves it,” Harvey Mayhill said.

Farrington’s wife said he would be delighted with the honor. She waved his flag on that same bridge last Sept. 11 after her husband died.

“He never wanted notoriety. He just wanted to wave his flag,” Betty Farrington said. “He wanted people to remember what this country is really about.”