Why are there red flags along Boulevard Hylan?
STATEN ISLAND, NY – If you walk down Hylan Boulevard from Dongan Hills in New Dorp, you’ve probably noticed several sets of striking flags hanging from utility poles.
Red flags with a black double-headed eagle proudly wave next to our star-spangled banner, in honor of Albanian Independence Day.
Albanian Independence Day, which takes place on November 28, commemorates the country’s revolt against the Ottoman Empire in 1912. The event marks the first Albanian parliamentary state.
“What Albanians are most proud of, besides being Albanian citizens, is being American citizens,” said Marko Kepi, this year’s candidate for the seat of the State Assembly of the East Shore. “We love this country and have no better ally. We are proud to call Staten Island our home! Many of us like me have the honor of serving and defending this great country called America. “
The city has allowed the Staten Island Albanian community to hang them on Hylan Boulevard for several years, and the eye-catching flags have often caught the curious interest of passers-by.
They were suspended by the NGO Albanian Roots, the DIBRA Community Association, the Kraja Community Association and the Ana Malit Community Association, and sponsored by the Qoku family, according to Kepi.
This year, the return of the flags comes after a tragic turning point in 2019 during Albania’s Independence Week: a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Albania days before Thanksgiving.
According to Kepi, the planned 2019 Albanian independence flag raising in South Beach was canceled and turned into donations of clothing and food for earthquake victims, and the American Albanian community raised 1.6 million dollars to support those affected by the earthquake.
At least 21 were killed, hundreds were injured and many went missing. It was the most violent earthquake to hit Albania in 40 years.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from its original version to correct the parts that sponsored the flags.