Korean War vet hoists first flag at Carlsbad restaurant

Colonial-themed Green Dragon Tavern includes museum

Vic Caruana (left)
  • Vic Caruana (left)

Korean War veteran Vic Caruana is known throughout coastal North County as “the flag guy.” He helps local businesses maintain their American flags and takes part in flag-raising ceremonies.

On January 31, Caruana was asked to raise the first American flag to be hoisted at the soon-to-open Green Dragon Tavern & Museum in Carlsbad.

The 85-year-old Marine was joined by four of who he called “my boys,” a Marine honor guard from Camp Pendleton. Wanting to be sure the flag was made in the USA, Caruana obtained it from a Philadelphia manufacturer and presented it to the honor guard at 8:00 a.m. sharp.

Under construction for over a year, the 22,000 square-foot Green Dragon Tavern is located on the southeast corner of I-5 at Palomar Airport Road. The two-story building, constructed with red bricks and with large white columns, is reminiscent of the 1700s colonial period; it’s an enhanced version of Boston’s original Green Dragon Tavern.

Established in 1714, the Green Dragon Tavern is credited by historians as being the underground headquarters of the Revolution — where the Tea Party was planned and where Paul Revere started his famous ride.

Carlsbad’s Green Dragon Tavern’s general manager, John Lek, announced that the restaurant, coffee shop, and bar will be opened to the public on February 12. The museum contains many documents from the Revolutionary War period: items from the personal collection of one of the restaurant’s three owners and pieces on loan from the New England Historical Geological Society and the Pilgrim Hall Museum (the oldest museum in the U.S.)

One of the amazing pieces on display is a document signed by Plymouth Colony resident Peregrine White. White is credited with being the first “American,” having been born on the Mayflower's first voyage to Plymouth Rock.

When asked about the choice of locations for a colonial-period museum, seemingly out of place one block from the Pacific Ocean — like a surfing museum in Kansas — Lek said the Green Dragon is the first of its kind on the West Coast. “The establishment will celebrate, remember, and honor early American history and the contributions of our founding Fathers,” he said.

The tavern has a former history teacher on staff who is putting together a colonial period curriculum and will be coordinating field trips for local schools.

When interviewed, retired Marine Caruana said, “Today is not about me, it’s about the flag.” Several other veterans turned out for the invitation-only event.

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My Dad was a Korea Combat Veteran - Max C. Brand - who would have been about this lovely man's age, but my dad (not Ed's) died in his mid-70's. Bless the Vets, So So Much.

I erred in not replying... Please read my post.

Shirleyberan - yes, Max C. Brand was Ed's father, by definitive choice. He raised Ed as his own, as most decent loving adoptive parents do.

Abbibruno - Ed was jealous and made sure my parents put him first.

Abbi Brand - you have never understood - read Suzzane Luzzaro's work - he's got more to answer for.

In my opinion It is you who have never taken any responsibility for your actions/decisions/outcomes, yet you continually continue to blame others. I am, and will continue to be, proud of Ed's accomplishments and success.

Shirleyberan and abbibruno, the rest of us can't follow what you are arguing about. Suggestion: pick up the phone and talk this out. There's a lot of long term underlying anger in both your comments. Not good for either of you. Do it in honor of Mr. Brand who's name started this whole thing.

Ken - sorry for using your column for this but it's already very over.

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