Uniting peace: Montevallo welcomes Flag for Hope
Published 10:46 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
MONTEVALLO–The American Village in Montevallo had the unique opportunity to host a national symbolic project representing thousands of Americans called the Flag for Hope project, which began to help promote unity and peace among all Americans.
The goal for the Flag for Hope project is to collect approximately 3,000-4,000 American hand and finger impressions on a giant canvas to create a large American Flag to be donated and placed in a national museum, and several hands from Alabama will now be represented.
The Flag for Hope team will travel across 37 states and more than 400 locations when the project is scheduled for completion sometime near the end of March, and on Wednesday, Feb. 10, the team traveled to Alabama.
Montevallo was the only location the Flag for Hope team chose to represent the state of Alabama and approximately 40 individuals made their impressions on the large canvas in American Village’s Liberty Hall.
Don Goff, director of operations for Flag for Hope, said the project decided to come to American Village after setting up a plan with the American Legion. The majority of the impressions made in Liberty Hall were veterans from numerous branches of military.
“With all the violence that’s going on between Americans and the shootings in San Bernardino, Charleston and the Oklahoma City bombing, we’ve been at those places as well to promote healing and they’re major events that happened to our country,” said Goff. “We wanted to do this in the shape of a flag to bring awareness again to the American Flag and why we have the freedoms that we have. We started on Sept. 11 and it’s taken a life of its own, there’s people on there like Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, General Colin Powell and some other prominent names.”
The leading artist of the project is U.S. Army veteran Marcos Antonio who started the project to help promote peace and “is in no way a political statement but merely about showing patriotism,” according to Antonio.
Former veterans formed a line in Liberty Hall and when called upon, Antonio asked for their name, city and state they represent and what the American Flag means to them before placing their fingers on the canvas to make a new impression.
When asked what the American Flag means to them, answers ranged from freedom, sacrifice and remembering those who fought and died for our freedoms.
The historic project has never been attempted before, according to information provided by Flag for Hope, and more information about the project is available by visiting Flagforhope.com.