While the large red, white and blue chalk flags students colored in honor of Independence Day at the Spring Creek Campus eventually washed away with welcomed rain, the patriotism and unity demonstrated left a more permanent mark.


Throughout the day on July 2, students were seen on hands and knees, detailing stars and filling in stripes.


Student participants Elizabeth Grayson and Andrea Dahl said “Stars and Stripes Forever,” the event’s official name, brought a sense of community to the college.


From passersbys and Collin the Cougar, to veterans, President Cary Israel and a Spanish class conversing in their second language, diverse contributors combined efforts to create the final products.


Michael Gregorash, assistant director of student life, said crafting the flags provided students, faculty, staff and community members the opportunity to do something creative and fun while taking part in the country’s birthday.


Noted by Grayson, today, America’s birthday is used to commemorate its original freedom from overseas rule as well as the many sacrifices required to maintain that liberty over the following centuries.


“By continuing to celebrate our nation and independence, we grow stronger as a college and a country,” Grayson said.


Though July 4, 1776 marks the date the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, it wasn’t until after more than 15 years and a victorious revolution that Americans began celebrating the Fourth of July more regularly.


Nearly a century later, in 1870, July 4 was named a national holiday.


As a result, events similar to “Stars and Stripes Forever” occur annually across the nation.


“This unique activity gave those here during the summer a chance to come together, enjoy a warm day together and make new friends,” Gregorash said. “Those too are a few freedoms worth celebrating.”


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