CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - On our nation's 242nd birthday, symbols of patriotism are spread all across the Cape Girardeau, Missouri community.
It is a unique World War I flag housed on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.
"This flag is one of a kind, Kent Library's Special Collections Librarian Roxanne Dunn said. "It is the only one that exists, and I think it's important because it documents our local history."
The vintage World War I commemorative flag has more than 900 stars. Each star represents a Southeast alum or faculty member that served in WWI.
"Keeping history and recording history and preserving like we do here in special collections and archives is really important," Dunn says. "This way we can study it and predict events that would happen in the future or try and avoid mistakes that were made in the past."
The 18 gold stars honor the students who never returned.
This federal holiday is a good way to appreciate the veterans sacrifice Dunn said
"I think this time of year- the 4th of July – Is actually a really good time commemorate and remember those who fought for our country and served for our military," he said.
Dunn says physical artifacts like this flag are a good reminder about the bravery and sacrifice that formed our country.
"It really makes note of all the people from this area who have served and there is no other flag out there like that," he said. "This is it and we are happy and thankful that we can preserve it here."
Preserving one of nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and bridging our history with the present day world.