June 14 is Flag Day in the United States, and it brings a fascinating lesson learned relevant for all. As an assignment for his American history class, Robert Heft decided to make a new U.S. flag with 50 stars, which he cut out of mending fabric, ironed onto a rectangle of blue cloth, and attached to the stripes of a flag that belonged to his grandparents. It received a B-minus.
The disappointed Heft tried to negotiate a better grade with his teacher. They reached a compromise: Heft will submit his design to the government flag competition that was conducted at the time, and if adopted, his grade will be improved. About a year later Heft received a call from President Eisenhower notifying him that his design was chosen. The teacher honored the deal and changed the grade to an A.
After Heft graduated from high school the following year, he took a job as a draftsman at a company that made parts for energy plants and boilers. One morning, he was telephoned at work and told that he would hear shortly from the president of the United States. As he described it many times afterward, when the call came, the other employees listened on a speakerphone as Dwight D. Eisenhower informed Heft that his design had been officially chosen as the new 50-star flag.
On July 4, 1960, Heft remembered, he found himself seated between Eisenhower and Moeller on a viewing stand in Washington, watching as the flag was raised. Early the next morning, he left his house, which was surrounded by news vans from all three networks, and headed to the school, along with a crowd of reporters. Finding the startled teacher in a classroom, he reminded his old teacher of their deal. The teacher opened his grade book, produced a red pen, and changed the B-minus to an A. “I guess if it’s good enough for Washington,” he conceded conceded, “it’s good enough for me.”
The moral of the story: You’ve got to shoot for the stars (or in our case, the Cloud), in order to get where you want. Happy Flag Day U.S.A!