Author: Lana Harfoush
In PLF’s recent "Fly the Flag" contest we encouraged individuals to submit their photos of the flag and briefly explain what the American flag means to them. Many submissions noted that the flag was important because of what it stands for and symbolizes. For me, the flag does not represent blind faith that our country is without problems or flaws, but rather a sign that there will always be individuals who choose to stand together and continuously strive to create that "more perfect union." As the oldest public interest law firm to exclusively litigate for liberty, PLF is an important contributor to that fight.
Here was my submission:
"The iconic American flag represents our country’s past and reminds its citizens of what they must strive to remain– a beacon of liberty and opportunity shining brightly in a dark world. This flag hangs in my cubicle at PLF as a reminder of that, as well as PLF’s many victories for liberty since its creation."
(Information on the winners after the jump)
The winning entry was submitted by John Schmidt, who wrote, "On September 11, 2001, I was sent home early. I sat by the TV, powerless. I got up, and with tears in my eyes, took our flag and hung it in front of the house. An American flag has hung there since. Let's not forget.
PLF also gave out a smaller prize to the best submission by a PLF staffer. PLF paralegal Pagona Stratoudakis took home that prize with this submission, to which she wrote, "My father was a child during WWII on Crete, Greece. He tells me often how, during the war,the only food they had came from boxes dropped onto the island. On the boxes were pictures of the U.S. flag and two shaking hands. Underneath the images it said A gift from the people of the United States of America.' My father said that from then he knew he wanted to go to the U.S. because, he thought, 'good people must live there.' Our flag is not only a symbol for Americans and when I see it I am reminded of the hope it has brought and continues to bring to other parts of the world."
I would like to add that Tony Stratoudakis (pictured above) became a United States citizen this year, after living in the States for four decades. Congratulations to Tony and Pagona.
We had a number of wonderful submissions, and the judging was very competitive. Here are a couple more of our favorites that just missed the cut.
Bruce Evans writes, "Seeing the flag casting its shadow on the Arizona Memorial one cannot help being overwhelmed by the sacrifice of those entombed here and what it represents; these men having given the ultimate sacrifice, not dying for the flag itself, but for what it represents, God, Family, Country, Freedom, and Honor."
PLF webmaster Natasha Greer submitted this wonderfully cute picture. She writes, "Unless you’re constantly at war to protect your freedoms and rights, it becomes easy to take these God-given liberties, which many have died for, for granted – food, shelter, a quality education, and hope; The hope of an innocent 3 year old who sees a perfect world as long as there is laughter and 'Thomas the Tank Engine.'"
Thank you to all who submitted entries. It was wonderful contest to judge.