Flag raised Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Corryn Brock, News Editor

Eastern raised a flag Monday to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Vice President for Student Affairs Anne Flaherty said they wanted to put the flag up a week early because many events celebrating MLK Jr. won’t be able to happen due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The university chose a flag that has MLK’s face over an American flag with the quote “yesterday’s dream, tomorrow’s reality.”

Flaherty said the flag stood out during a search and was purchased after the idea was passed around to others.

“We knew we wanted to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King with the holiday next Monday and his legacy and so we did a search of flags and this one stood out to us,” Flaherty said. “He’s a civil rights leader and hero and recognizing all that’s going on in our country right now, it’s even more symbolic.”

Flaherty said she was upset they could not do more to celebrate MLK.

“I wish we could do a bigger celebration but because of COVID we’re not doing big celebrations to keep folks safe but certainly for folks who maybe aren’t familiar with the work of Martin Luther King Jr., maybe they can use the holiday as an opportunity to learn more about him or do service, do something in the name of his memory,” Flaherty said.

Mona Davenport, Executive Director of the Office of Inclusion and Academic Engagement, and Nyjah Lane, a graduate student studying college student affairs, took part in raising the flag.

Davenport was present for the raising of the first flag on the We Are EIU flagpole and returned for this month’s flag raising.

“I think it’s an honor in general. I’m really excited that we even have the flag pole that we can use to display for all of our cultural months, all of our big activities, our big days that we really want to celebrate,” Davenport said.

Lane, who raised the flag once it was ready, said she was happy to be a part of the moment.

“It’s pretty special because you know that your campus is taking you into consideration and past leaders before you,” Lane said. “He’s made a huge impact in history and I’m happy that we can remember his legacy on this campus.”

The two said it is important to remember MLK’s legacy and honor him.

“He brought a lot not only to our African American community and those that are in need but he literally tried to lead us his entire life to do good and so I think for us to have a union named after him, that is very significant, he has done a lot to help move us to some type of social justice that is good,” Davenport said.

Lane said the flag represents more than MLK.

“I would say it’s a powerful representation of peace because even how he led a lot of the movements, it wasn’t violent. It was done in the most respectful way and unfortunately they still got food spilled on them, they were beat in the streets but I think his message was what was most important and I think it shows you how good it feels to do the right thing,” Lane said.

The next flag to be raised will be the Black Lives Matter flag on Feb. 1.


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]