ESD Student Shows New Appreciation For Old Glory

If you'd like to purchase flag from Ben Kelly, send an email to benkelly@operationflyyourflag.com. (Staff photo: Chris McGathey)
If you’d like to buy a flag, send an email to [email protected] (Staff photo: Chris McGathey)

Imagine rows of stars and stripes rippling down the streets from house to house. That’s the vision one ESD junior, Ben Kelly, has for his neighborhood in Preston Hollow.

“At our summer place in Michigan, the whole line of cottages have their flags up all the time,” Ben said. “When we got back, I realized not a lot of people had them up.”

So he and his mother, Liz, hatched a plan. Ben is distributing a flier advertising “Operation Fly Your Flag.” His hope is to get as many neighbors as possible to proudly display flags by the Fourth of July. The flier encourages participants to “make our neighborhood exceptional.”

For those interested, Ben will mount and install the bracket and flag. He sells the 3-foot-by-5-foot flag, a 6-foot-pole, and the bracket for $45. There’s also an upgraded option for a 4-foot-by-6-foot flag. He says the mounts work on wood, stone, and brick.

Much like the project itself, Ben’s motives are noble.

“It’s to show that you’re proud of our country,” he said. “You get to know the neighbors, too, and that’s kind of cool.”

In a funny twist of fate, Ben, who plays on ESD’s varsity lacrosse team, sold his first flag to David Hopson, who is the announcer for the team’s games.

Despite that connection, the two had never met.

“We were really impressed when we got the flier,” said Hopson, who has announced the lacrosse games for roughly eight years. “We loved his concept of community and making a positive difference in the neighborhood.”

As of early last week, Ben had installed roughly a dozen flags. But his fliers have inspired a number of others to fly flags they already owned. His mother estimated that for every flag sold, there were two neighbors who caught the patriotism bug.

“We’ve gotten phone calls from neighbors who say that this is a great idea, or someone who’s been inspired to put theirs out,” said Liz, who also handed out fliers on her morning walks.

Ben plans on approaching more homes in June when school is out. He’s also trying to recruit friends to cover more area. Depending on the project’s success, he may decide to sell Texas flags as well.

“We’ve got that Texas pride,” Liz said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *