International Club brings flag tradition to DtBHS


A Flag Exchange ceremony that took place on March 6, 2004. Photo Courtesy: International Club

Preity Mangar, Staff Writer

On November 29, the International Club hung the flags of 77 countries throughout DtBHS with the purpose to create a welcoming environment for the community. They also hope to hang the flags of the Black Lives Matter and the Pride movements near DtBHS’ main entrance before winter break. 

One of the flags represents International Club Chair Samjana Rai’s ‘22 birth country.

“Seeing my own country’s flag made me feel pretty good,” Rai said. “I was born [in Nepal] and seeing [its flag] made me feel included.”

The International Club’s objective in displaying the flags is to pique students’ interest in various cultures and backgrounds. They represent the birthplaces of past and present BHS students. 

International Club members hold Irish flag. Photo: Preity Mangar

“It is interesting to be able to look at a flag and be like ‘Wow, I didn’t know that someone from our school was born in Argentina,” Jinny Diop ‘23 said.

The club had difficulty deciding where to hang the flags due to the layout of the DtBHS building.

“We have a lot of sprinklers and  cameras,” Rai said. “We have front cameras on the front door. We have fire alarms… those were our troubles.” 

BHS has displayed flags from various countries since 1984. In this year, Alissandra Kovesi, a Brazilian exchange student from Sao Paulo, gave BHS a Brazilian flag as a thank you gift for her time at the school in 1984. This started an annual flag exchange tradition that lasted until the early 2000s, when the International Club began to instead purchase their own flags. Some of the flags that are currently hanging are from Kenya, Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea. 

As well as representing student’s birthplaces, these flags also serve as decorations to brighten the new BHS building. 

“It’s not like just random art on the wall,” Diop said. “It’s like something that actually exists in real life which is nice to look at.”