A great asset of Phillips Exeter Academy is the diversity of the people who attend school here. We can see the different cultures that represent Exeter at the Agora since it has the flags of every country that has participated in the school. I was sitting in one of the big brown chairs of the Agora looking at all the different flags when I realized that the Puerto Rican flag was not included. My friends and I asked why and the Deans told us it is because it is represented as a part of the United States. We did not think that was a reasonable explanation for not putting up the Puerto Rican flag. My two friends and I were frustrated by this matter and decided we were going to do something about it.
Puerto Rico deserves a flag because it is not a state of the United States, it is a territory and it is not represented in the American flag. We are not a state nor want to be, so why do we not deserve a flag that represents us? We have our own sports team in the Olympics with an engraved flag in the uniform, we participate in the Miss Universe pageant as Miss Puerto Rico instead of Miss USA, we do not vote in the election to choose the United States president and we have our flag which we show with much pride. We pretty much are our own country.
The first part of our plan to get the flag installed in the Agora center was quite simple. We would go to the Deans of Fun office every free time we had with a piece of paper saying “Puerto Rico deserves a flag in the Agora,” and we would each do this at least once every day. The second tactic would be telling the Deans of Fun every time we saw them why the Puerto Rican flag needed a spot at the Agora. There were times when they would run from us. The last part was the most complicated one. We had one of our moms send us Puerto Rican flag so we could give it to the Deans of Fun and ask if they could put it up. When we showed it to them they gave us huge smiles we never expected and started jumping around saying they wanted to buy it because we had convinced them, but now that we had bought it first they would waste no time in putting it up. We left full of excitement and pride for what we had accomplished. We started chanting “Yo soy Boricua pa que tu lo sepas” when we got out of the Agora which is well-known phrase in Puerto Rico that translates to “I am Boricua just so you know.”
We wanted to put the Puerto Rican flag in the Agora because it shows respect and gratitude to every Puerto Rican who has attended this school. I have a friend whose mom came to this school; I know that there is a Puerto Rican teacher in the regular session and right now in the summer session. Every year Exeter receives students from Puerto Rico, and I bet that all of those people who have noticed that there was no Puerto Rican flag felt the same way I did, left out. Puerto Rico needed to be represented here.
If you go to the Agora you will be able to see the newest addition to the group of flags, the Puerto Rican flag. There are other countries that do not have their flag in the Agora, and I hope one of their citizens decides to do something about it like I and my friends did. We all deserve to have the flag of our country in the Agora. We need to show the real diversity at Phillips Exeter and how much we care. It only takes one person who cares a whole lot about something to convince others to work together to achieve something that for them is significant.