General

I could be naked under a stormy sky and still our flag would clothe me. It is the superhero cape I keep in my mind, a warm blanket on a long wintry night, the colour of cherries and blueberry pie. It is the thing my mind goes to for strength in dark times and paints my joy vivid in bright summer sun. Under its steady flutter we are all stars and on our shoulders are the stripes of bravery that come with the identity that is our birthright.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), October 9, 2015.
Dystopian

Parker pulls what can only be the American flag from his satchel, crinkled and worn. Tiger swoops, no though necessary, hiding it beneath his jacket. "Are you crazy?"

"I need it."

"That thing will get us both killed. Those stripes might as well be our blood, you idiot. The regime doesn't want heroes. So take your punch card, eat the oatmeal and you might see your next birthday."

Parker shoves the jacket away and holds it up to the crude cut out window of the treehouse. "I love it. My grandma used to have one flying in our front yard, I see it every night in my dreams."

"Let it go, Park. This is sedition. One world, one crappy standard for everyone. That flag is worse than the swastika used to be."

Parker runs his hands over the beaten fabric, his eyes soft. "She was the light in the darkness, the promise that was ransacked until it wasn't worth a damn thing. I want to speak my mind, compete, sing, dance, and blaspheme when I stub my toe."

Tiger hangs his newly paled face. "They'll catch you Park and you know what that means..."

By Angela Abraham (daisy), October 9, 2015.
General

The American flag flies ahead, every colour like an everlasting blaze of brilliant light. The red is the very definition of "red," as is the blue and the white. The lines are perfectly straight yet they flow in the warm onshore wind and even from the base of the pole I can hear the fabric ripple as it flies.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), October 9, 2015.
General

A flag is just a flag unless its ours. That's how I feel. I guess they do too - about their own that is. That fabric of stars and stripes is in my DNA, in my blood, stretched over my skin. It is part of my identity and it is every clear sky, every bold new leaf of spring. It is the image that gives me strength to keep being the loving person God needs us all to be. It is the image that brings to mind what we are - "One nation under God."

By Angela Abraham (daisy), October 9, 2015.
General

In the intense sun-rays the flag flies moves like a liquid, colours sharper than a plasma screen. I watch it like an old friend, a true friend. one I share memories and moments with. It's been on my birthday cakes and every fourth of July parade. It was on my bedspread as a kid and my favourite t-shirts - the ones I wore until Mom "lost" them. It isn't just stars and stripes, or at least it will never be that to me, it is the flag we stand under, stand behind and fly to show our pride in being who we are.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), February 21, 2015.
General

The stars and stripes fly over the deck, the wind tugging at the fabric like it means to rip it away from the pole. I can hear it over the howl of the wind, almost cracking like a whip above us. It seems silly in a way, just a piece of cloth with a starry blue rectangle and stripes like some garish pants in a clown. But I'm glad it's there. To me that imperfect piece of cloth means hope even now. It means there is still a chance for the world to turn back from the brink, to do what is right.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), February 21, 2015.
General

The American flag flies high over the university. In the wind the stripes make it look alive, like a fish swimming up a current. In the afternoon sun the colours are bold, vibrant, strong. As it flutters I stand almost hypnotized, taking in the brilliant white stars on the midnight blue. It takes me back to so many happy memories of ball games that I take a moment to drink in the sight. It's my flag, the symbol of my country - not a perfect place, but I'd never want to be anywhere else. Here we have a chance to make the country of our dreams, a country we want our children to live in. So as I watch it move in the brisk spring wind, I smile quietly. "One nation under God," in all our ethnicities, our cultures, our religions, we stand together.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), February 21, 2015.
General

As we enter the courtyard we halt as suddenly as if our feet were bound by ropes. Dust swirls in the late afternoon air like we were standing in some dusty library with old books being pulled from high shelves. Carl stoops to tug at a piece of blue fabric under some rubble and already my heart is in my boots. I can see through the dirt the white stars that once meant freedom, a bright light in the world that said we could dance to rock and roll, love freely and speak our minds. He tugs at it and before we see the cherry red and white stripes we know they're coming. To see it in such a state turns my stomach. That flag, our stars and stripes, once flew over every school, our justice buildings, our homes. Without thinking I reach out to touch it, to feel the fabric that no doubt was once perfect and strong. It feels like an old t-shirt that's been washed too many times and my fingers come away covered in grime. Carl grips it like a child finding a beloved teddy bear and no-one says a word. Without even a bird singing in the sky the place is deathly silent and yet I can hear the Star Spangled Banner. My jaw clenches and I look away as Carl stuffs it into his back pack.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), February 21, 2015.