Inspiration Kids

The Boy Who Stood at The Flag Pole Alone

Written by Stacey Philpot

The air on Facebook has felt a bit toxic to me lately. So, I announced I’d be taking a little hiatus. I needed some space between me and all the heated political discussions, the finger-pointing, and name-calling. I looked forward to the wide-open space free from Facebook notifications.

For this reason, a friend of mine knew I wouldn’t see the thread in a local community group she’d tagged me in and yet it was a tag I wouldn’t want to miss so she texted me a head’s up. At first, I couldn’t understand why she felt it was so vital I see this particular thread. It was about a young man who’d stood alone that morning around his school’s flag pole praying in observance of the annual See You At The Pole day for students. Members of the community were chiming in, praising both the student and his parents. “I don’t know who he was, but his Momma and Daddy should be proud. That takes courage. He’s obviously a young man of great character,” one man commented. As I scrolled through the pictures, it hit me–––––the boy who stood alone at the pole was my boy. They were talking about my son.

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The little boy I’d rocked to sleep in blue airplane pajamas when he was sick. The toddler who loved Elmo and couldn’t go to sleep without holding his Veggie Tales characters in his hands had captured the attention of our community by standing alone, by doing everything we’d ever taught him, everything we’d ever hoped he would do. I was completely undone.


I read on through the thread. People who professed no faith commended my son for standing up for his. Some folks said, “there are clearly still good parents out there.” Can I pause for a moment and tell you how rarely I feel like a “good mom?” As someone who battles chronic illness, the sensation of failing is a constant in my life. There is never enough of me to go around. I never feel present enough. There is never a time in which I can offer as much of me to my husband, my children, my community as I long to. And yet, strangers were praising my parenting.

I texted my son at school and told him, “You should know that people in our community are going crazy about a young man who stood at a flag pole alone and prayed this morning. They are talking about what an amazing young man he must be and how proud his parent’s should be. And I want you to know that your parents are so proud of you. You are an amazing young man. I love you so much.”

The Boy Who Stood at The Flag Pole Alone

When Hayden came home from school with tears in his eyes we read through the hundreds of comments together. He told me with sheer amazement in his voice that as he stood alone and prayed the cry of his heart had been, “God, as people drive by, let them wonder, let their hearts be pricked.” He laughed and said, “It’s crazy because it’s like he answered in this big way!”

My son says at first, he thought he would simply pray until someone else came along. Eventually, he realized no one else was coming. Then, the cry of his heart changed. He asked that God would do something with his standing alone.

So to you, wherever it is in your life you stand alone, be it a flag pole or a marriage, a place of work or a seemingly impossible situation, I believe my son would like to remind you God can do big things with your standing alone. Perhaps, for now, you are praying until someone else shows up or takes notice. God sees, he knows, and he can do big things.

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About the author

Stacey Philpot

Stacey is an author, goofball and avid reader. You can find her blog at where she endeavors to encourage other warriors like herself along in their journey of battling for health and discovering wholeness. She is mom to Hayden and Avery, stepmom to Julie and wife to Ryan (a smarty pants who works at NASA and logs their whole life on spreadsheets and pie charts, true story!) She has a strange affinity for eating whole meals in bed (don’t tell anyone) and is convinced smelling old books will make her smarter.


  • This is wonderful! What an amazing child of God. Thank you Hayden for showing us that it is okay to stand alone for what is right or what you feel deeply about in your heart! I think you just made a lot of us feel a lil bit stronger. HUGS!

  • I love that you got affirmation on your parenting, but also that one person’s prayer probably affected your community more than some who had a massive turnout.

  • As someone who has been struggling, mightily, with her faith recently, this boy has touched my heart. I want to go pray with him. Even as I question if anyone is listening, I want to send up a prayer— because— well, because this boy has such faith maybe I can borrow a bit of his?

  • I am crying mama tears, faith tears, and friend tears. I am so proud of your son. His heart is so big and it is full of Jesus. I am also so happy for you to see what your day-in-day-out faithfulness encouraged in your son. This challenges me to stand firm, be it alone or in a crowd, and pray for the Spirit to prick hearts.

  • This is the kind of courage that touches millions of hearts, Just like Rachel Scott. Thank you so much for this. From the producer of I’M NOT ASHAMED” the story of Rachel Scott.
    Chuck Howard

  • I, too, can relate. Something similar happened to me when my daughter had stood alone at her flagpole. The photo I took had been given to Fox news (on Todd Starnes blog) and the next thing I knew I was getting phone calls from strangers who said they were moved by my daughters act of faith. It really is amazing. This year was the first time in 3 years she was not alone and I cried again….Be encouraged!!

  • Tears rolling down my face as I read. God bless your son. By standing alone he made a greater impact. I used to pray at the flag pole with my youth group friends when I was in high school. I know how hard even that was to do as a small band of Christians who already had a “reputation” as being different. Praising God for his faith, courage, and commitment to seek God’s face, and to pray even when no one else was.

    • This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you God for this child of God. I know his parents are proud. Where are the others?

  • Thank you so much for sharing this and for the values you have instilled in your child. I’m a single mom to a 6 year old boy, and this story has hit me so hard, and though I’m writing through tears, they aren’t tears of sadness; they are tears of hope.Hope for my own child and the choices I make each day, even if others don’t agree with them. Hope the future of this country, and most of all, hope for God’s glory. May God bless you & your family, Stacey.

  • I’m at work on my lunch break and this came up in my newsfeed. I don’t know what I was expecting, but when I got to the sentence that you realized it was your son, I burst into tears. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • This:

    “wherever it is in your life you stand alone, be it a flag pole or a marriage, a place of work or a seemingly impossible situation, I believe my son would like to remind you God can do big things with your standing alone.”


  • WOW!!!! So impressed by your sons actions, in fact, it further challenges me to do the same! Thank you for being a great example!

  • Dear Stacy Philpot, What a great kid you have! And what great parents your kid has! Give that boy a big hug from a Grammy in Alaska. God bless him!

  • I made an account just so I could let Hayden know that I’m 100% with him! I didn’t get to make it to the See You at the Pole and it really bummed me out. Hayden is so strong and he made the Lord proud, as well as his fellow believers!

  • What a amazing child! Also what wonderful parenting! I pray God continues to do amazing things in your child’s life and yours for raising him.

  • Oh my gosh! Thank you to everyone for this overwhelming response. It’s crazy how much this blew up. I love seeing how God can take the smallest little things we do and use them for his glory. To everyone else who stood at a flag pole alone, you guys are awesome! Let’s keep on standing!
    Love, Hayden ( the boy who stood at the flag pole alone)

  • Hayden, you are no longer a boy…you are a man, and a man that your heavenly Father is proud of, you stood up for Him…He now stands up for you and your prayers at the flagpole…and to the young lady in the picture below -your Father is proud of you as well – you have proven your weakness can be made strong – through Him 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing this, not just because of your son, but because of you. My wife suffers with chronic illness. She is often fatigued beyond belief, yet still homeschools our children. She thinks she is a “NEVER” too, and I often worry I haven’t done anything close to enough, but last night after I put my son and daughter to bed, who are 10 and 8, I went into the bathroom next to their room. They must have forgotten I was there, because soon I heard talking, that I quickly realized was praying. They were praying together before bed and then my son began to read the Bible to his little sister before they went to sleep. Often times we all feel inadequate, because we are, but as parents, if we will cry out to God, He will fill in for our inadequacies because His power is made perfect in our weakness.

    • I love this! And please know, I’m cheering you and your wife on. Thanks for the beautiful parenting work you are doing and for the kind words, as well!

  • One of my youth students prayed at the flagpole on his own as well, So proud of the young people, makes a youth pastor cry.

  • Awwwww Thank you brave young man. Whoever acknoledges me before man I will acknowledge him before God. You are more of a blessing then you know. Your Abba Father is well pleased with you ❤️

  • What a proud moment! Young man you have more courage than most adults!!!! Please continue to shine your light in this dark world! !

  • Awesome Hayden! God bless you and all of those you prayed for! Keep up the great work you are doing in God’s Name. 🙂
    P.s. Love your shirt!

  • When reading your description of remembering rocking your little boy in his blue airplane pajamas when he was sick, I came undone. Seeing him praying all alone in front of his HIGH SCHOOL made me ashamed of my cowardice. Imagine if every Christian had the courage–the willingness to endure mockery and scorn from the world–that your son has. The church would surely be stronger, and maybe, just maybe the culture would be less corrupt.

    I have shared this on my personal FB page as well as on the FB page of the Illinois Family Institute, the organization for which I work. I hope Hayden has time to read all these comments.

  • God bless you young man, and you, mom! He is more a man than a lot of adults I know. This story brought teas to my eyes.

  • Awe-some! Brought tears. So happy for you, Stacey. And for you, Kristy. Such button-popping moments. May the Lord bless these two young people in all they do. 😀

  • Thank you, everyone! Hayden and I appreciate your outpouring of love, support, encouragement, and kind words more than you know!

  • So glad I read this story tonight….I can’t tell you how glad I am. Give that young man of yours and the woman’s daughter I read in another comment….both fine children, how proud you all must be of them as well you should be:-) There will always be people who are afraid to do what’s in their heart to do. But thank God there are still some who aren’t afraid to be caring and thoughtful and follow their heart…..

  • Love this story and the reach it is having as others are sharing it. Thank you for your story, for your son’s courage and for what you stand for. God is still alive in well in our world if we only allow Him to be. thank you from the bottom of my heart.