Whether waving boldly atop the White House or blowing amid the last remnants of the World Trade Center, the American flag remains a constant reminder of freedom, pride and patriotism.
Accordingly, the House of Representatives passed a resolution Sept. 13 calling on all Americans to display the flag as the turmoil of last week’s tragedy persists.
Some houses and apartment buildings around campus now adorn the flag. Others always have. But now, in this time of national crisis, it is an order.
Unfortunately, the majority of stores on campus, as well as many in the city and surrounding suburbs, are sold out.
Pipefitter Ltd., 517 State St., has been out of American flags since last Wednesday.
“A lot of people have been coming in,” said store employee Catherine Whelen. “It’s amazing.”
Madison’s east side Wal-Mart, 4198 Nakoosa Trail, has also sold out of American flags.
Some UW students are searching the city for a flag and are coming up empty-handed.
“My roommates and I wanted to show our support and patriotism,” UW junior Janelle Parent said.
Parent tried to find a flag at a Target store, but was told Target was sold out and that the store was unsure when it would get more.
Employees at the Poster Master, 506 State St., are also unsure when they will receive more flags.
“The shipments are crazy right now,” store employee Amy Zaremba said.
The demand for the broad stripes and bright stars is strong across the entire nation. Wal-Mart said it sold 450,000 flags between Sept. 11 and Sept. 13. During the same time period last year, the store sold only 26,000 flags.
K-Mart said it has sold 200,000 flags since Sept. 11, and many of its stores are out of stock.
In response to the overwhelming flag demand, K-Mart introduced a top-selling T-shirt featuring the American flag and the words “United We Stand.”
Some students who cannot find a flag have resorted to makeshift flags. From sea to shining sea, newspapers ranging from The New York Times to The Wisconsin State Journal have reserved space to run full-page flags, which can be hung on walls, in car windows, or just serve as a simple reminder of the work cut out for the land of the free and home of the brave in coming months.