2:00 pm Walk:
It’s been awhile since I took a stroll around my neighborhood so this was the perfect opportunity for me to get reacquainted with my surroundings. It was in the middle of the day so of course it was pretty hot, but not scorching. I noticed others also taking time of of their day to walk around in the fresh air, and every couple of minutes I had to raise a hand or give a nod to them. I hadn’t really paid attention to who was still in the neighborhood and who had left so I realized that I was saying hello to a lot of new faces. Pretty young looking faces, not quite my age, but maybe 10 or so years older. There wasn’t really much going on other than the occasional lawnmower, dogwalker or jogger. For the most part it was relatively quiet with a hint of a breeze passing through here and there. So I ventured out a little further and decided to go a street up from where I lived. I remembered always walking through here in middle school with my friend on the way to the small park at the beginning of my neighborhood. Trees that had once hung over the street like lamp posts were cut down. Some houses looked newer. Specifically a house that sat on a corner and looked to be abandoned for a long time, now had a neat green lawn and a little playground in the backyard. It was interesting to see and think about the changing landscape over the years. But when I continued to circle around, I spotted something that kind of disrupted my leisurely walk.
It’s not unusual to see people flying flags in front of their doors, but usually the ones that I had seen over the years represented different colleges or football teams. But, this house in particular I noticed was flying a Confederate flag off of their front porch. There was also a truck in the driveway with a cover in the back window of a bald eagle positioned in front of the American flag looking majestically off into the distance. Instinctively, I noticed I started to walk a bit faster and I got a bit nervous. Thoughts of what these people who live here may be like or what their ideas consist of came up and further worried me, even though I didn’t see who lived there and I’m not entirely sure what their purpose was for flying that flag. But with the climate of today and the associations, I couldn’t help but think that they were problematic in some way. I also thought about the people downtown who always fly their Confederate and American flags in front of the VMFA. While I’ve never had any bad experiences with them personally, you can’t help but acknowledge the symbolism and what type of world these pieces of fabric represent. Which I don’t think most people realize.