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What Colors are YOUR Flag?
by Mark Sichel, LCSW

I recently did some web surfing to learn about flags. In the process, I learned a new word: vexillology. Vexillology is the study and creation of flags. For this exercise, I am going to ask you to please, for a moment in time, to become a vexillologist.

Do you ever ask yourself, "Who am I? What do I stand for?" Alternatively, do you ever ask "What do I value and what are my central commitments in life?" If so, please continue reading and participate in the playful, but helpful exercise, of creating your own Personal Flag.

Tattoos, coats of arms, tartans, theme songs, anthems, and logos are all symbolic representations of individuals, groups, nations, clubs, and even corporations. In the art of making YOUR flag, bear in mind that it is a symbolic representation of Who You Are, What You Stand For, and What You Value in Your Life.

A client of mine in recovery for 14 months designed a flag consisting of a triangle on a green background. The green field, he said, is meant to symbolize growth; the triangle is his commitment to his sobriety, and the diamond his newly found sober and abstinent self. His flag gave him continued inspiration and hope throughout his recovery.

Studies have shown that addicts and children of addicts and other dysfunctional families have great difficulty formulating a personal identity. That is, knowing:

  • Who you are
  • What you want
  • What you like
  • What you stand for
  • What you believe in

    These are all questions that become difficult to answer when you are trying to sort out your life, especially after having grown up in a dysfunctional family. Creating a personal flag is a great and fun way to answer these questions and a helpful tool for improving your self-esteem and asserting your Personal Bill of Rights.

    Read on and find out more about how to create YOUR flag!

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