Hotels and other businesses along Interstate 15 commonly fly sometimes-huge American flags, announcing their patriotism to passing travelers.


Hesperia's Holiday Inn Express has two more flags flying: the POW/MIA and KIA flags. Those flags have put them in a bit of a gray area with corporate policy but in the good graces of some customers.


The flags have been up in front of the hotel since March 1, flying on a flagpole donated by San Bernardino County Firefighters Station 304. The original flags were donated by AMVETS Post 2007.


There was some question, however, as to whether the flags fit with Holiday Inn corporate policy, said hotel manager Brandy Schmidt, who had originally been approached about the flags by members of AMVETS.


"Because we're franchised, (our standards) are pretty specific about what we're allowed to have and not allowed to have," she said Wednesday.


The hotel chain's policy manual dictated that the American and corporate flags be flown outside hotel locations.


"I didn't see anything specific (in the manual) that said we couldn't have them," said Schmidt, who comes from a family with a long history of military service.


A recent visit by a Holiday Inn inspector gave her a pass on the flags.


"'Of course, we want to see the Holiday Inn flag,'" she quoted him telling her. "I guess it's just based upon if we have any guests complain about it."


So far, however, the flags have seemed to mostly be attracting praise from customers.


"'I got the same rate (at another hotel) but we saw your flag flying,'" she quotes customers as saying. "It's been so many times now. ... Twenty or 30 times at least, minimum, and that's just the times that I've been here."


Two days before Thanksgiving, members of American Legion Post 725 who have begun using the hotel as a meeting site presented Schmidt with a plaque honoring her for flying the flags.


"It said, 'For your patriotic commitment to the community for flying the American flag, POW/MIA and KIA flags,'" member Dennis De Hay said.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.