Dr. Madeleine K. Albright


“The first time I saw an American flag was after World War II when American soldiers were in England. And then, again, when I came to this country on November 11, 1948.  When my family and I arrived in the U.S.,  it was Armistice Day (now called Veterans’ Day) and there were thousands of flags flying in the streets on New York City to help celebrate that memorable day that had ended World War I.  I remember being so very impressed with how beautiful all of the flags were, flying proudly everywhere. And to this day I continue to love what our United States flag means to me, not only as as an immigrant but as a naturalized citizen who had the incredible  opportunity to serve my country at the U.N. as the U.S. Ambassador and in the U.S. State Department, as the first woman Secretary of State.

Of course, in 1948, there were only 48 states and, therefore, only 48 stars on the flag.  Since then Hawaii and Alaska were added and so our current flag has 50 stars. 

I decided to knit the American flag as my piece of the larger quilt because the American Flag has been such an important and meaningful symbol of what the United States means to me.

”When I shared my happy assignment with my sister, Kathy Silva, she was also eager to help out.  And what started out to be a simple project, to knit a small flag, turned out to be a bit more complicated than at first I had anticipated.
When my sister found a knit pattern online,  neither of us was happy with its small dimensions ( 9 x 7) nor with the fact that the pattern made it looked square.   Of course, the pattern needed to be adjusted:  both for size and the “true" dimensions of 1.9 long and 1.0 wide.  Kathy found these dimensions online, also.  

Kathy used her high school math skills to ascertain the accurate stitches to represent the new proportions.  She changed the pattern to reflect the greater number of stitches.  Then she graphed these numbers out, only to find out that the flag was still somewhat square.  So back to the numbers and drawing board.

Finally after numerous attempts at proportions, dimensions, and how many rows each stripe should be (according to the "true flag dimensions" these also had their own length and width), (We) finally agreed on how large the flag should be and how many stitches should be cast on and off, changing colors, and making certain that the blue part of the flag started exactly in the right place.   (I) knit the basic flag, and it was up to Kathy to fill in the 50 stars.  

Once the stars were placed in their respective places (marked by pins), each star had to be finished on the back of the flag to hide 100 strands (2 per star).

And then comes the final touch - initials for Madeleine K. Albright (“MKA”) and Anna Katherine Silva (“AKS”).

The best part of the project was that (we) celebrated the 4th of July working on this very meaning flag that will be part of a larger quilt that commemorates immigration to this wonderful country we call the U.S.A. Knitting this flag helped both of us remember how important our adopted country has been to us throughout out the many years we have been here.  “

Former Sectary of State, Dr. Madeleine K. Albright

Cindy Weil