Pride And Patriotism Abound In South Mississippi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

FLAGS FLY ACROSS THE COAST

Pride And Patriotism Abound In South Mississippi

American pride and patriotism abound in the wake of this week's attacks.

A growing number of flags are flying. Business marquees carry messages of support and solidarity. Drive anywhere and you'll see evidence of the determined sprit that defines the character of America.

The flags at half staff are perhaps the most solemn reminders. They fly over the President Casino in Biloxi and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Ocean Springs. Signs carry messages of unity, comfort and American resolve.

"What we're doing, we're leveling these flags up. They're not level. Somebody requested that they all be in line. They're different sizes so we're just making them look right," said firefighter Billie Sheppard as he adjusted a flag to half staff.

Biloxi firefighters were glad to lend a hand at the lighthouse flags display. With their fellow firefighters still digging through the New York rubble, they understand the flag's half staff significance.

"Condolence for the, for all of America right now and what we stand for. And our sadness and grief and sorrow for the tragedy that has happened," Sheppard said.

Karen Boone finds therapy of sorts, making patriotic pins. This former member of the military is turning small pieces of ribbon into creative displays of American pride.

"The need to do something... anything besides cry. And to show my support for our country and help other people who don't get an opportunity to get out and do something," Boone said.

Donald Cooper's patriotism is proudly displayed on one of the busiest gateways to the coast: Highway 609 in St. Martin.

Travelers can't help but notice his flags.  Cooper says many want to take them home.

"And they stop and want to buy flags and I say no, them are my flags."

The flags aren't for sale. But Cooper is glad to share his patriotism.

"To show the country that we're behind everything the President wants to do. And wish he'd do it faster," Cooper said.

If the size of the flag mattered most, most Americans would proudly fly one like the 30 by 60 foot flag that hangs from the Palace Casino parking garage. America's pride and patriotism seems to be just that big right now. 

By Steve Phillips

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