“Flag on Tybee Island”

“This is a special roadside American flag on the only way to/from Tybee Island. It was saved from flood waters by police officers after Hurricane Irma, on the anniversary of 9/11 known as Patriots Day. The flag, attached to driftwood, had been a familiar landmark on that stretch of Highway 80 since the 1980’s. The officers knew that evacuees returning home after Hurricane Irma would find their beloved flag to be a comforting sight. They were especially grateful to residents who took care of the weary officers with coffee and encouragement, while first responders were working 12 hour shifts before and after the storm.

I had no idea of the history of this roadside flag when I was inspired to paint it. All I saw was our homeland’s flag waving on that stretch of highway, and I was stirred with emotion. I imagined someone had put that there with love and passion for our country and our people. It was only later that I learned about the story behind this flag. Now it is even more special and I’m happy to have painted it.

Flag on Tybee Island oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

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