Article Comment 

True Colors

 

Andrew Smith thought it only appropriate to have an American flag as his first tattoo. “I’m a very patriotic person and wanted to always have and carry the flag with me somehow,” Smith said. When he recently traveled to Morocco and Spain, the flag on his arm made him feel proud, and never far from home. The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science graduate plans to study political science and international business at Mississippi State University.

Andrew Smith thought it only appropriate to have an American flag as his first tattoo. “I’m a very patriotic person and wanted to always have and carry the flag with me somehow,” Smith said. When he recently traveled to Morocco and Spain, the flag on his arm made him feel proud, and never far from home. The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science graduate plans to study political science and international business at Mississippi State University. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

 

Launch Photo Gallery

 

Retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Glen Shreiner is an air traffic controller at Columbus Air Force Base. He is third-generation military and displays the flag outside his north Lowndes County home year-round. For Shreiner, it shows pride in the foundational principles of the United States and honors and remembers those who have served and are currently serving.

Retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Glen Shreiner is an air traffic controller at Columbus Air Force Base. He is third-generation military and displays the flag outside his north Lowndes County home year-round. For Shreiner, it shows pride in the foundational principles of the United States and honors and remembers those who have served and are currently serving.
Photo by: Mary Alice Weeks/Dispatch Staff

 

Nick Hairston purchased the 30-foot flag pole assembly at the end of his long gravel drive in the Prairie 47 years ago, after he and his wife, Eleanor, built their home. The ground at the pole’s base is landscaped, the flag obviously of importance. “We live in the greatest country in the world,” Hairston said, “and I am proud of that!”

Nick Hairston purchased the 30-foot flag pole assembly at the end of his long gravel drive in the Prairie 47 years ago, after he and his wife, Eleanor, built their home. The ground at the pole’s base is landscaped, the flag obviously of importance. “We live in the greatest country in the world,” Hairston said, “and I am proud of that!”
Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

 

Bert Rector and his wife began flying the American flag when they moved into their first family home in Columbus 10 years ago. Bert’s son, 9-year-old Sanders, has proudly added several more. When asked why he likes the flag so much, Sanders answered, “Well, because I was born on the national holiday of Flag Day!”

Bert Rector and his wife began flying the American flag when they moved into their first family home in Columbus 10 years ago. Bert’s son, 9-year-old Sanders, has proudly added several more. When asked why he likes the flag so much, Sanders answered, “Well, because I was born on the national holiday of Flag Day!”
Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

 

Bryan Honnoll flies the colors on the back of his main source of transportation during the week of Fourth of July and on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. His grandfather, the late Sonny Honnoll of Columbus, fought in World War II. His uncle, Jerry Gibson of Columbus, served during the Vietnam War. “I put the flag on in honor of them and others that have and are serving this great country,” said Honnoll. “To put it plainly, I’m proud to be an American.”

Bryan Honnoll flies the colors on the back of his main source of transportation during the week of Fourth of July and on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. His grandfather, the late Sonny Honnoll of Columbus, fought in World War II. His uncle, Jerry Gibson of Columbus, served during the Vietnam War. “I put the flag on in honor of them and others that have and are serving this great country,” said Honnoll. “To put it plainly, I’m proud to be an American.”
Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

 

Columbus native Ruby Latham likes reminding those behind her in traffic how grateful they should be to live in America. She bought the spare tire cover about five years ago, before her niece, Kimberly Pope of Columbus, deployed for a year with the U.S. Army Reserve. It took Latham a while to find just the right patriotic symbol to publicly show support for not only her niece, but other brave servicemen and women. When she found the tire wrap, she knew “it was perfect.”

Columbus native Ruby Latham likes reminding those behind her in traffic how grateful they should be to live in America. She bought the spare tire cover about five years ago, before her niece, Kimberly Pope of Columbus, deployed for a year with the U.S. Army Reserve. It took Latham a while to find just the right patriotic symbol to publicly show support for not only her niece, but other brave servicemen and women. When she found the tire wrap, she knew “it was perfect.”
Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

 

Joey Herring, an IT coordinator at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, stands outside his home in downtown Columbus. His father and grandfathers served in Vietnam and World War II, respectively. He currently has a cousin in the U.S. Marines. Herring grew up surrounded by patriotism and flags. Keeping up the tradition makes him feel at home.

Joey Herring, an IT coordinator at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, stands outside his home in downtown Columbus. His father and grandfathers served in Vietnam and World War II, respectively. He currently has a cousin in the U.S. Marines. Herring grew up surrounded by patriotism and flags. Keeping up the tradition makes him feel at home.
Photo by: Mary Alice Weeks/Dispatch Staff

 

 

Jan Swoope

 

Fifty stars, 13 stripes.  

 

Together, they can rally a nation and bring strong men to tears. They can be taken for granted and even abused. But everything the American flag stands for is indelibly written in time, by great and ordinary people.  

 

Dispatch photographers Luisa Porter and Mary Alice Weeks took their cameras into the Columbus community to discover how -- and why -- some of us show our colors. Not just on national holidays, but throughout the year.  

 

From a 9-year-old imminently proud to have been born on Flag Day, to a retired U.S. Air Force officer who followed in his granddad's and dad's footsteps, the lenses found a few of the faces that represent that feeling Lee Greenwood sang about -- old-fashioned patriotism.  

 

"No one is short on words when asked about the pride they have in the American flag," said Weeks. "These flags are clearly more than decoration; they do more than adorn yards and porches. They represent a lasting bond between family members and friends, across seas and across generations." 

 

Luisa Porter asked photo subject Nick Hairston why he erected a 30-foot pole and flies the flag every day. "He began to feel an overwhelming emotion which showed in the form of a few tears," Porter said. As the flag's hardware clinked against the metal pole in a breeze, Hairston's response to her was, "I feel very close to the flag and the United States. The flag, it reminds me that if I lived anywhere else in the world, I wouldn't be able to live exactly like I do here ... "  

 

The Fourth of July is a grand time to celebrate and remember -- as Ruby Latham will proclaim, should you be behind her on the road -- "There's Only One."

 

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

 

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