Photography by Matt Wyatt

One Flag Left Standing

In the summer of 1969 man landed on uncharted territory. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin experienced the thrill of entering into virgin land. There was nobody else who had gone before them and very few came after them. Upon leaving the lunar surface they left a mark, a sign that they had done the impossible. The flag of The United States was left firmly planted into the rocky terrain as they returned back home. Although the flag has been reportedly knocked over, it still remains and Armstrong and Aldrin have forever left behind a legacy.

Many flags have been raised for many reasons all across our world as well. A few memorable instances include six soldiers on a small island in Japan, a country in whose neighbors declare it’s existences to be fraudulent, and a red flag symbolizing the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Someone told me this afternoon that the last thing they would ever want their tombstone to read is that they “lived a good life”. My friend wanted to be known for something astounding such as finding a cure for cancer or finding life on another planet. They wanted not just a tombstone but a flag raised.

I couldn’t help but think of some of the flags I’ve risen in my life and even those I’ve lowered. When I dropped out of high school I lowered a flag and wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to raise another. Yet, in 2010 I proudly raised a flag as I walked across the stage of Spring Arbor University. There have been many flags lowered and raised in my life, from my parents separating, to getting and losing jobs, to trying to impact the lives of teenagers, to being on top financially and being at rock bottom.

In the end, I will leave one flag left standing and what do I want that flag to be? Flags symbolize the might and power of their owner. Except for one flag.The flag nobody wants to raise, a symbol consummate with surrender and departure; The White Flag.

As my friend told me about his ambitions, his hope to be known for something which goes beyond his life and is beneficial to others, I realized the flag I wanted to leave standing. Yes, I want to surrender; to others, to hope, to love, to something bigger than myself. .

I want to live a surrendered life.


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