The Court of North Carolina, considered by many to be the most beautiful spot on NC State’s campus, has taken on a new look this week in honor of military veterans.
For the past week, the lawn in front of the 1911 Building has been home to 1,191 small U.S. flags. They are sprouting out of the ground like so many red, white and blue spring flowers.
They are part of a larger effort at NC State to honor veterans who are students, faculty, staff and alumni. The 1,191 is an estimate of the number of students and faculty — those currently on campus — who have served in the military. Veterans will also be honored at Saturday’s home football game against Wake Forest as part of Military Appreciation Day.
The flags on the Court of North Carolina are the result of a partnership between the Student Veterans Association and the Staff Senate. They wanted to find a way to recognize veterans on campus, and three years ago settled on the idea of placing flags on campus to celebrate Veterans Day.
The first flags were placed on Harris Field three years ago, and flags have been placed in the Court of North Carolina the past two years. The idea was inspired by a similar display at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, N.C.
“I always thought the displays were very moving and beautiful,” says Tina Nelson-Moss of the Student Veterans Association.
It took a large group of volunteers a little over two hours to install the flags last week. “It was amazing,” Nelson-Moss says. “We had staff, faculty and students that had volunteered to assist. Some were veterans, family members of veterans, or just individuals that just wanted to show appreciation and support to our military community.”
Nelson-Moss says the response to the flags has been overwhelming. “We’ve seen lots of positive messages by our students and employees,” she says.