Written by Linda Mittiga
Sayville students in Cherry Avenue Elementary school created Peace Flags in art class to send wishes of peace, serenity, and happiness to friends and loved ones in the community. This art project, which coincided with the International Day of Peace, allowed the students to express their individual thoughts about peace in the world.
The concept of Peace Flags is based on the 2,000-year-old Tibetan Prayer Flags tradition. For Tibetan Buddhists, these hanging flags represented prayers that were carried by the wind to bring blessings to all. By using woodblocks to carve the designs, the “prayers” were transferred to cloth for display. They hung the flags over mountain passes and rivers to benefit all who would pass underneath.
The Cherry Avenue students learned that the use of colors held significance for the five elements: blue for sky or space; white for air or clouds; red for fire; green for water and yellow for earth. The students also learned about the two styles of prayer flags: horizontal ones, called Lung ta (Wylie: rlung-rta, meaning "Wind Horse") in Tibetan, and vertical ones, called Darchor (Wylie: dar-lcog, meaning "flagstaff").
Art Teacher Robin Laxton encouraged passers-by to “enjoy these artful creations of peace, made by the peacemakers of Cherry.”