On the evening of September 20, 2001, Richard Melito sat in his restaurant in Richmond, Virginia and sketched a symbol commemorating the events which occurred nine days earlier. His intention was to create a symbol for display on the wall within his establishment that would always remind his patrons of the tragedy and triumph of September 11, 2001. Sixteen months later the Freedom Flag became a part of Virginia history when it was designated the state’s official symbol of remembrance honoring the victims and heroes of 9/11by then Governor Mark Warner. Raising the Freedom Flag has become part of the traditional Patriot Day observation in schools throughout the Commonwealth. The Freedom Flag Project calls for schools to formalize an annual tradition of raising and flying the Freedom Flag below the American Flag on September 11th, creating a unique reminder to future generations of the victims, heroes, and survivors of that day.
The Freedom Flag Foundation, formed in 2002, is a non-profit organization with an active operating board made up of Richmonders, who are united in the cause of advancing the Freedom Flag Project. In order to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and to generate renewed momentum for the Freedom Flag Project, the Foundation is currently in the process of a $2 million fundraising process to construct and maintain the Virginia 9/11 Memorial. The memorial will be located in Henrico County, Virginia, where the design for the Freedom Flag originated. At the same time, the Foundation is working on developing grade appropriate lesson plans that will reinforce our commitment to “never forget” and promote a more thorough understanding among our young citizens of the rights, responsibilities, duties and sacrifices required to maintain a free society. In addition, the Freedom Flag Foundation has developed a substantial network of support through its relationships with many state and national educational associations and organizations. In addition, numerous local, state and national government leaders have fully endorsed the message of the Freedom Flag.
With your involvement and support, we can move forward to provide the Nation’s school children the same learning experience available to students in Virginia, thus keeping the promise to honor the memories of 9/11 and teach a rising generation about the rights, obligations, and duties of citizenship in the United States of America. Together, we can transform the aftermath of September 11, 2001, into a positive learning experience that will empower our children as they become tomorrow’s leaders.
The Freedom Flag Foundation is a non-profit public charity created to oversee the distribution of the Freedom Flag into schools, colleges, and universities and to work toward establishing an annual tradition of remembrance within the educational community that honors the victims, heroes, and survivors of September 11, 2001.
The Freedom Flag Foundation was first envisioned in November of 2001. This was a direct result of a recognized interest in the flag by the educational community. It became apparent that the Freedom Flag had a significant visceral effect on teachers who viewed it and requested copies of there own for use in their classrooms. This recognized acceptance and popularity of the Freedom Flag allowed Richard Melito, the flag's designer, to expand on his purpose for the flag. By December 2001 it seemed obvious that the flag would need a vehicle through which its purpose could be directed. Groundwork began in January of 2002 for the formation of a non-profit foundation with an appropriate mission statement and goals to support its mission. The Freedom Flag Foundation was registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia in May of 2002 and received its initial status as a non-profit by the Internal Revenue Service in November of 2002. It currently operates out of Richmond, Virginia. Four Richmond area residents serve in the Board of Trustees.
The Foundation generates revenue through sponsorship fees it receives for the Freedom Flag Project. Funds are used by the Foundation to purchase inventory, produce print materials, and offset some operational expenses. With increased participation in the school sponsorship program the Freedom Flag Foundation will establish a fully operational office with a staff whose purpose shall be the promotion and distribution of the Freedom Flag, the creation of teaching resource materials that can be used on future September 11ths, and an interactive website that will offer free educational resources to help teach students to honor, remember, revisit, and learn from those catastrophic events of September 11, 2001.
History of the Freedom Flag
The Freedom Flag Foundation is a non-profit organization formed to establish the Freedom Flag as a national symbol of remembrance for September 11, 2001, and to support educational efforts of teaching future generations about the tragic events and many lives lost on that date.
Have the Freedom Flag adopted as an official symbol of remembrance by the United States Congress and present a Freedom Flag to President George W. Bush.
Provide Freedom Flags to police, fire, rescue and other agencies which responded to the crises on September 11, 2001. Additionally, provide Freedom Flags to all families of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Work with the September 11th Educational Trust to distribute the "Teaching 9-11" curriculum designed to enhance the understanding and remembrance of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Distribute Freedom Flags accompanied by this curriculum to all primary and secondary schools in the United States.
Provide Freedom Flags to all September 11, 2001, Memorial Sites (e.g. World Trade Center, Pentagon, Shanksville, PA).