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The Forgotten Flag - a story

The Forgotten Flag

By Jere Kittle

One day, a woman and her young son were out for a walk when they passed the school where the boy would soon attend. He saw three flagpoles near the entrance to the school, pointed to one and asked, “What is that flag for?”

His mother answered, “That’s the school flag. All of the students who go to this school are like a family. And this flag is a symbol for your school family.”

Then he asked about the second flagpole.

His mother said, “That’s the Virginia flag. And all of the children in all of the schools in all of the neighborhoods and towns and cities in the state of Virginia can call this their flag. Virginians are a family, too.”

The boy pointed to the third flagpole and said, “I know what that one is. It’s the American flag. That’s for everyone in America! All of the children in all of the schools … in all of the towns … in all of the states…” His voice trailed off and he began looking around.

"What are you looking for?" His mother asked.

“The other flagpole…where is the flag for everyone?…the biggest family of all – the whole world?”

The woman hesitated, “I’m very sorry…but there is no other flagpole…because there is no flag for everyone in the world.”

The boy took his mother's hand. “Don’t be sad," he said. "They just forgot." He looked up at her with a smile and brightened eyes, “It’s okay. We can make one!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Photo of three flagpolesThis is not a true story, but it is based on an actual event – a personal experience that occurred on the morning of Friday, September 14, 2001, the Day of Remembrance three days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the real story, it wasn't a school, it was the office building where I worked. I was the woman...and I was the child. My experience that morning was the beginning of the idea for the BLUECOUP project.

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