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Virginia's Freedom Flag

Last modified: 2018-12-27 by rick wyatt
Keywords: freedom flag | virginia | september 11th |
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[Freedom Flag of Virginia] located by Richard Knipel, 23 July 2004

See also:

Description of the flag


" Virginia is the state where the Pentagon is located, and that state has uniquely recognized an official symbol of remembrance of September 11th, 2001.

The Freedom Flag.

  • Blue Background: all Americans united together for freedom
  • White Star: all who lived and died for freedom
  • Five White Bars: the Pentagon and the organized protection of our freedom
  • Top Red Stripe: the bloodshed of those who perished at the Pentagon and the crew and passengers on American Airlines Flight 77
  • Two Broad Red Stripes: the Twin Towers and the bloodshed of the people who perished at the World Trade Center and on American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175
  • Bottom Red Stripe: the bloodshed of the crew and passengers who perished on United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania
  • Three White Stripes: the rescue workers, firefighters, police officers, Port Authority employees, and others who worked tirelessly during and after the terrorist attacks "
The Twin Towers symbolism is of course more obvious when the flag is hanging vertically.

"The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates officially designated the Freedom Flag as the Commonwealth's official symbol of remembrance during the 2003 General Assembly session. Gov. Mark Warner issued an executive order on Feb. 24 proclaiming the Freedom Flag as Virginia's official symbol of remembrance for
September 11, 2001."

Businessman and Richmond, Virginia resident Richard Nicholas Melito drew a sketch on a napkin of the first Freedom Flag on the evening of September 20, 2001.

Here is the text of the Governor's executive order:


By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:


WHEREAS, on September 11, 2001, terrorists launched an inexcusable attack on the United States, causing great destruction and horrific human suffering; and
WHEREAS, Richard Nicholas Melito, a Virginia resident, created a Freedom Flag on September 20, 2001, to memorialize the victims, heroes, and tragic events of September 11, 2001; and
WHEREAS, the first Freedom Flag carrying Mr. Melito's design was hand-sewn by a Virginia resident and flag maker on October 25, 2001, and unveiled on December 16, 2001; and
WHEREAS, The Virginia Historical Society adopted the Freedom Flag on November 12, 2001, for inclusion in a memorial exhibit on the September 11 attack on the Pentagon in the fall of 2002; and
WHEREAS, in May 2002, Mr. Melito established a nonprofit charitable organization, the Freedom Flag Foundation, to facilitate the distribution of Freedom Flags to help educate children about September 11, and to foster the establishment of a national symbol of remembrance;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mark R, Warner, do hereby proclaim the Freedom Flag as the Commonwealth of Virginia's official symbol of September 11, 2001; and direct that a copy of this proclamation be transmitted to Richard Nicholas Melito on behalf of the Freedom Flag Foundation so that members of the Foundation may be apprised of this proclamation; and further do I hereby call the designation of the Freedom Flag as an official Virginia symbol of remembrance of September 11, 2001, to the attention of all our citizens."
Notably, the Freedom Flag has flown from the temporary memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania since August 18, 2002. It has been to Afghanistan, Iraq (or at least has flown over Iraq in a fighter jet) and flown at Al Ubeid Air Field in Qatar.

I don't think this should be considered exclusively a Virginia flag, though Virginia has recognized it.

Richard Knipel, 25 July 2005

I am writing to inform you of an important update for the Freedom Flag, which is that on March 30th, 2018, the Freedom Flag made Virginia history when SB754 was signed into law by Governor Ralph S. Northam. SB754 added the Freedom Flag to the Code of Virginia (§1-510 Emblems of the Commonwealth) after the bill passed unanimously through both houses of the Virginia General Assembly. A copy of the bill signed by Governor Northam is provided, for reference.

The full text of the Freedom Flag in §1-510 of Virginia Code can be found here:

To review the legislative process which led to the Freedom Flag Bill SB754 becoming a law, click this link:

Additional information about the Freedom Flag and our organization, the Freedom Flag Foundation, can be found on our website and on our Facebook page:

John D. Riley, PE, PTOE, 19 August 2018

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