Ever since Nine-Eleven I’ve been hoarding American flags. Full-size, 50-star, Double Vinyl US-American Flags, yes sir! Whenever I’d get some extra money I’d buy a few. I’d wait till after dark and never buy more than two at a time and spread my purchases across multiple stores through four counties. Didn’t want to cause any concern, didn’t want to make a stir. Never, ever bought any online. Not right.

Now we come to the question of storage. As of Easter Sunday, I own forty-six thousand American flags. More than I want, not as many as I need. The closets are full, the attic is bursting, all the cubby holes have been filled and the front window displays – why as inventive as Nancy is with them – have become stale with the integration of so many flags into holidays that require only four or five. I’ve got flags in the garage and in the shed and inside the boat and strapped to the reverse side of the fan blades. Billy’s locker at school’s got flags in it and little Suzy I make carry around an arm full at all times, even with the limp. Come the end of the month I’ll be renting a third storage locker and filling it primarily with American flags (that and baby clothes, Nancy has a bit of a problem herself).

By this point I assumed I’d have received some kind of metal or citation for my work. As of this writing, despite appearing on the front page of the Sentinel Newspaper three separate times for my patriotism, I have not been awarded anything more than discount car wash coupons.

But I don’t do it for the glory. I do it for all the brave men and women – fire fighters, police officers, enlisted men, park rangers – who’ve been eaten alive by sharks. Hoarding American Flags is the best way to honor their sacrifice and not nearly as creepy as buying plastic limbs.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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