Tyler Jones, an ETSU student who puts his patriotism on full display, has become more commonly known as “the guy carrying the flag” around campus.
Jones is a junior transfer student from Northeast State Community College who is a double-major in criminology and theater. Jones says that his future career goals are to become either a detective or a FBI agent. He also added that due to his love of theater, it would be amazing to be a part of a musical on Broadway.
However, Jones has become well-known at ETSU for something a little more unexpected – his extensive flag collection. He can been seen around campus almost every day carrying a large flag from a different country.
“My obsession with flags began when I was nine years old,” Jones said. “My grandfather was a marine during WWII and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. After the war, he ended up bringing home a flag of the stars and stripes and then gave it to me at the age of nine to remember him by.”
Jones said that flags are living history because not only are they symbols for people, but they look just like they did when they were created years ago by the people of that specific country.
“I got a lot of weird looks, and some people thought I was taking part in various political propagandas,” Jones said about reactions people had the first time he carried a flag around campus. “But since then, I have met so many cool people and brought some smiles to some of the international students when they see that I am carrying the flag of their home country.”
Considering that Jones’ large collection consists of 250 or more flags, it is safe to say that he still has plenty more to put on display for his fellow classmates.