A boy went out to walk his dog after school one chilly December afternoon. He had homework to do, it was getting dark, and his mom was expecting him home for dinner soon.
On his walk he spied a patch of red and white cloth on the ground. That looks like a flag, he thought to himself. Someone must have thrown it away. Out of curiosity, he walked over to the striped red and white cloth and discovered it was, indeed, a small American flag on a piece of broken white plastic. He picked it up.
Examining it, he could see that it was broken off from one of those clips that you can roll up in your car window. Since it was near a main highway he figured it snapped off of someone’s car, and the owner never noticed.
But he did.
I can’t just leave this here, he thought. It needs to be disposed of properly.
Then he had another thought.
This is the American flag. It’s in great shape other than the broken staff. It needs to be flown.
So he looked for a way to try to fly it. “Stay, boy!” he said to his dog, and he looked around.
There was a utility pole nearby, on the street corner, that had a bunch of staples in it from yard sale signs that had been long since taken down, but none were sturdy enough to hold the broken flag staff.
There was a stop sign, right at the intersection, but he wasn’t tall enough to push the broken stub of the flag staff down into the u-channel above the sign.
Then he spied it: a short piece of signpost nearby, that at one time had a metal sign attached with a couple large bolts and nuts. He pushed the tapered plastic rod down behind the bolt head, and it wedged in there pretty tightly.
The American flag was now flying proudly, about three feet off the ground, flapping gently in the light breeze, and seemed to be pretty sturdy. Still, he thought it needed to be secured a bit better.
He had to get home, though. He had homework and dinner before heading off to the troop meeting that night. I’ll come back tomorrow and lash this better, he thought to himself.
“C’mon, boy, let’s go!”
[Based on a true story.]