Sears has seen America since 1886. From a small watch selling outfit, to watching the international Market, Sears has seen a great deal. Adapting to an ever-changing capitalist market is tremendously difficult. Just ten years after it's conception, Sears began to grow at an alarming rate. Desperate to keep up with the demand, they started building and renting locations from New York to Chicago to Dallas Texas. It was truly a remarkable time for the company. And virtually every building, plant, and warehouse flew a flag.
Sears may have not invented mail-order, but it can be argued that Sears is the father of mail-order. A complicated stream from manufacture to front door, the mail order system was not an easy thing to perfect. Today, you can order straight from the TV ad. But in 1906, it was another story. It is a fascinating story and you can read more about it here.
A lot has happened since 1906. The shape of America has changed, literally. Growth and expansion has led to recession and even depression. While Sears was becoming a staple and beacon for employment, it also struggles to compete with this market. Once proud stores with the Sears name carved into the entryway with a towering flag flying from the roof, now lay dormant, waiting for a tenant to replace the window treatments, fix the cracks, and give the building new purpose.
Flags do not just tell us who shows up on the block, a vacant flagpole shows us the state a community is in. Right now, we are struggling for footing. Some want to keep shouting from the rooftops about how America is still the world power. It may or may not be. But the flag is not about who is more powerful, it is about the community. It is about each and every person having a footing in the progress and growth of that community they belong to. We call it the broken flagpole theory. Related to the Broken Windows Theory.
We just like people who fly flags and Sears has been a flag flyer since the beginning. For that, we say thank you.