Eugene man celebrates Independence Day through symbolism of flags
EUGENE, Ore. - While most folks celebrated the Fourth of July with fireworks, one local Eugene man is going above and beyond to display his appreciation for America's freedom.
"If you take care of your flags, your flags will take care of you. If you take care of them, they will continue to represent you."
His name is Robin Hickman.
Dozens of American flags fly in his front yard.
He showed us around to the different flags - and gave us a history lesson.
"Patrick Henry, 'give me liberty or give me death!'" Laughed Hickman.
Amongst them, he has a U.S. Navy flag - a representation of Hickman when he served during the Vietnam war.
He also has a Bicentennial flag, a Betsy Ross flag, and a "Don't Tread on Me" flag.
Although each have a different symbolic meaning,
"This represents the Bunker Hill flag," said Hickman. "That comes in a red color and a blue color."
For Hickman, they are all equally important.
Hickman said people should be proud to wave a flag.
"Flags are symbols...flags represent," said Hickman. "This is in regards to freedom, this is representing, this is who I am, this is who we are. And, it can be a very public thing - anyone that's driven past my house the last four or five days; it's kind of a public thing."
And although each of Hickman's flags represent a different time in American history, in the end, for him, "The flag represents patriotism, and it's about patriotism and not politics," said Hickman. "We're all first and foremost Americans, and everything else comes after that."
One flag for all.
While Hickman calls his home the "most patriotic house in West Eugene," it is only a glimpse of his vast collection of flags.
Hickman said he donated some to neighbors who would have otherwise gone without a grand ol' flag this Independence Day.
Hickman told us he has around 1,000 flags, but according to his wife, he joked, the number is "too" many.