A few times annually, the corridor between Strong Hall and Carrington Hall is adorned with two lines of flags – but why? And why are these particular flags chosen?
When the flags fly
The Avenue of Flags is typically on display during New International Student Orientation, Public Affairs Week, International Education Week, and the Public Affairs Conference. They may also be displayed during commencement depending on weather. Weather can also be a factor during the previously mentioned weeks. If there’s any precipitation in the forecast, the flags won’t be displayed out of respect.
How flags are chosen
International students make up around 6% of Missouri State’s total student body. On average, these students represent between 75-85 countries. The flags represent our diverse international student body. When there’s no construction, a flag for each country is included. We’re limited on the number of spaces for flags this year due to construction so we rotate which flags are flown each day. If you don’t see your flag today, come back tomorrow!
Who’s responsible for the flags
The Office of International Services tracks which flags should be included each year. They recently replaced all the flags to make sure our flags are clean and free of wear and tear from weather. A team of amazing volunteers from Theta Chi can be found raising the flags early in the morning and removing them late each evening during times of display. We all do our best to make sure all countries are displayed equally and with utmost respect to each nation represented.
Why the Avenue of Flags is significant
Aside from Cultural Competence being a part of our Public Affairs mission, the flags are an important reminder of our diverse student body at Missouri State. Imagine, for a moment, you’re traveling abroad – if you saw your country’s flag being flown, you might feel a sense of pride in your home and welcomed in your new environment. We hope this is a small way that our international students might feel welcomed at Missouri State, and that the Avenue of Flags reminds all students, faculty, and staff that globalization is an important goal for our university.