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“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
(flags) are carried at parades, athletic games, and official events. “Since I’m not very tall and no flag can be flown higher than the American flag, I always carry our state flag,” Alex says, chuckling. Alex Silvas may be small in stature, but she is HUGE in making a difference. BYOU
— ANNE FRANK Our goal at Be Your Own You magazine is to empower girls to realize that we are all here to do something special in this world. We believe ALL girls have the potential to make a difference — large or small — in their own unique way, so in every issue we feature girls who choose to be extraordinary. Meet Alexandria Silvas…
EING ON THE SWIM TEAM might be a typical activity for a teen girl, but that’s about all Alexandria Silvas does that is typical. This amazing 14-year-old from Huntsville, Alabama, found a cause she is passionate about and decided to do something about it. It all started at one afternoon in the park. Alex noticed that several American flags on display were dirty and torn. “It made me sad and I actually felt hurt,” said Alex, whose family members have all been in the military. “Our flag represents America, and I felt that displaying flags that were ragged and distorted disrespected our country.” That experience sparked a passion to explore how other flags were being treated. Alex and her family drove around and found many businesses and other places that were flying tattered or inappropriately flown flags. “I was surprised at how many people don’t take down their flags at night or
BE YOUR OWN YOU
ABOVE: Alex Silvas in her Junior ROTC uniform with her father, Domingo Silvas. LEFT: Alex displays one of the damaged and disrespected flags that inspired her flag-education program.
light them. If a flag is kept up at night, it’s supposed to be lighted,” she says. Alex decided she wanted to educate people about the history and meaning of our flags — both our country’s and our 50 states, as well as do something about the high number of worn-out flags being flown. She created a nonprofit organization called Honor Thy Flag that educates and raises money to purchase new flags to replace old ones. “I feel a lack of information exists on proper use of our flag and many people do not understand the meaning. It honors our country and those who serve to protect it.” Her goal is to create an outreach program where students in other states participate in a “drive-by” to find worn flags, then help raise money to replace them. Her charity also will purchase flags to be given out on holidays such as the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Veteran’s Day. Alex volunteers as a member of the Junior ROTC and also participates in the Color Guard, where “the colors”
Please visit Alex’s website at www.HonorThyFlag.org
THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Did you know? ■ The flag should only be flown from sunrise to sunset unless it has lights around it. ■ When flown with state or community flags, the American flag is always the first raised and last lowered, and no flag may be larger or fly above it. ■ When grouped with other national flags, all flags should be the same size and flown at the same height. International law forbids any nation’s flag to be flown higher than any others. ■ The only time our flag can be flown upside down is in an emergency, and that means “help!” ■ The flag should never touch the ground or another object and should be folded neatly and ceremoniously before it is stored. JUNE/JULY 2012
Published on Jun 6, 2012
Our goal at Be Your Own You magazine is to empower girls to realize that we are all here to do something special in this world. We believe A...