An Indian American physician has created a unique quilt depicting the US national flag which has the signatures of governors of all 50 American states and former President George W Bush, making it the only 'Stars and Stripes' of its kind.
"This Patriotic Flag Quilt came about as a medium to portray my feelings after the horrific incident of September 11, 2001.
It was emotionally overwhelming to see that everyone in their own way were expressing their feelings of patriotism," Dallas-based Dr Anis Ansari told PTI. Originally from Banaras-Azamgarh region of Uttar Pradesh, Ansari, who grew up in Mumbai, started this project in the fall of 2002 while discussing patriotism with his two daughters, Laila and Sabrina.
Soon he embarked upon this unique project of collecting signatures of governors of all the 50 states of the US, beginning with Governor Rick Perry of Texas. The then US President, George W Bush, was the last one to sign the huge quilt in the Oval Office of the White House few years later in July 2005. In addition it also has signatures of Chiefs of all the Five Armed Services along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"The final and the greatest honour bestowed to this show of unity via this quilt is the Commander-in-Chief's affirmation," he said. A practicing physician in Dallas, Ansari, an eminent Indian American community member, is now planning to donate this quilt to the Pentagon. "This is now a part of history," he said, adding that this started initially with the idea of having a patriotic quilt for his daughters.
"The response I got from all the Governors was so overwhelming; that I still feel this is all a dream. The fact that they have taken time from their busy schedule to sign on the quilt is an honour to my family," he said.
"After it was completed, I took the quilt with my children to the White House," Ansari said. "This Patriotic Flag Quilt portrays our flag of 'The United States of America' as a centrepiece, synonymous to the pivotal centre of our core feeling of patriotic unity.
"This makes me feel very good," Ansari said, adding that his adopted country has given a lot of opportunities to excel not only to him but also his daughters.