I was supposed to be the flag-raiser for my elementary school one year. At the end of 7th grade, myself and another student who lived on my block—selected, I think, because we lived close to the school—spent a week learning the literal ropes of hooking up a flag and raising it into the air. The previous year’s flag-raisers taught us how to fold the flag.
But when 8th grade rolled around, there was no flag. It had been lost. I guess there wasn’t a budget for a new one, because I do not remember raising the flag once. But I do have a week’s experience raising a flag up a flagpole, 27 years ago this month, and I can tell you: It is not hard.
I don’t think it was hard for Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton, but it certainly looked it. The Flyers sent out a press release about a flag-raising ceremony Laughton participated in yesterday at the team’s arena. He had turned a crank—flagpole technology has clearly made great advances in the last three decades—to raise a Pride flag up a pole.
“The Flyers belong to everyone in the City of Philadelphia,” Flyers exec Valerie Camillo said in the release, “and especially during Pride Month, we want to send a clear message that we support the LGBTQ+ community.” The team passed along some charity work they’d done and are doing. Cool. But I would say next time the Flyers should also give Scott Laughton a pair of sunglasses.
In this video, this man does not look like a professional athlete. He looks like he is struggling to raise a flag. He looks like he cannot fathom another turn of that crank. He is sweating! It was so hot and sunny in Philly yesterday schools dismissed early. The sun was clearly in Laughton’s eyes. But any time the Flyers lose next season, I’m going to complain about the player who struggles to work a flagpole crank handle.