When we moved to this farm there was a giant fiberglass pole lying in the weeds down by the old feed bunk. My stepfather-in-law said it was a flagpole. I didn’t give it much thought.
I like to fly the flag. Never been much of a Stars-and-Stripes chest-thumper, but I am daily grateful I was dropped in this country. Been around just enough to know I owe much to those who arranged it and do their best to sustain it. Thus we often fly the POW/MIA flag as well. When my daughters ask me about it, I have a built-in starting point to discuss history and service and those relatives and neighbors serving at this very moment.
We also have friends and relatives from other countries, and we use the extra pair of clips below the American flag to honor them. When my brother-in-law (born and raised in Panama, now a naturalized American with dual citizenship) visits, we hoist the Panamanian colors. When my dear friend Tim died in his native England, we flew the Union Jack. This weekend, when my sister-in-law marries my brother-in-law-to-be, we will welcome him and his family with the colors of their native Ecuador.
So, I enjoy a flagpole. And for a long time we had a modest model stuck in the ground over by the lily patch. It was white and weathered. Once during a windstorm the rusted-out base snapped and the pole fell flat. I farmer-repaired it by sinking a steel t-post and then dropping the pole over the post. But with the wedding coming up, I wanted something better.
Well, jiminy. Sunday my stepfather-in-law was visiting, and when I mentioned that I was going to put up another small pole, he said, “Why don’t we put up the big one?”
And so we did.
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