The Freedom Flag Foundation

Creating the Freedom Flag

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 9/11 by 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 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.

It has been 18 years since the 9/11 attacks, which means today’s K-12 students effectively have no memories of the tragic events – and heroic responses – related to that fateful day. Educators have told us over and over that the 10 symbolic elements of the Freedom Flag have proven to be an effective teaching tool in classrooms to help the current generation of students learn about the complicated sequence of events which took place on 9/11. The Freedom Flag Foundation's Educational Programs and efforts are expanding related to the teaching methods, creativity, and requests of individual school divisions.

The Freedom Flag and the Museum

As of December 2019, the Freedom Flag Foundation and the National Health and Public Safety History Museum have partnered to continue to bring 9/11 education to not only the k-12 school ages who have no recollection of the events that took place on September 11th, 2001 but to make sure that the rest of America never forgets the lives lost and the tireless, heroic response across New York City, Shanksville, Pennsylvania and Arlington, Virginia.


On March 15th, 2020, a procession led by the Dublin, Texas First Responders will carry a portion of piece N-131, Floors 92-95, Column 206 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center to be laid to rest in the Freedom Chapel within the museum. Piece N-131 will be placed on a stand in the center of the Freedom Chapel where people of all ages can feel free to pray, remember, listen, read and even touch N-131.

10 Elements of the Freedom Flag