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‘Flat Chris’ contributes to school environment

Lily Blower
Flat Chris stands proud at a Marching Band event this fall.

Most people think that having a reputation, a personality and even an Instagram account demands a third dimension, but Flat Chris disproves this theory on all counts. Flat Chris is a local celebrity at Revere events. Students stand in line for the opportunity for a photograph.

Flat Chris is a life-size cardboard cutout of Revere High School senior Chris Anderson. Flat Chris follows Anderson around to some of his activities, whether that means stationing at the football game concession stands or watching his baseball games.

Anderson has attended Revere for his entire academic career, and he participates in numerous activities in and out of school with Flat Chris by his side. Flat Chris was originally Anderson’s family’s idea. Anderson’s mother, Ellen Anderson, took the lead.

“Flat Chris was an idea his sister and I and his brother-in-law came up with over the summer, just sitting around and laughing. . . . We’re like ‘we need a cutout of Christopher. It’s his senior year, what’s something fun we can do to make it even more special?’ And that’s what we came up with. We kind of based it on Flat Stanley, so Flat Chris has adventures,” Ellen Anderson said.

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Flat Chris was a fun surprise for the band community. People were delighted to see this symbol of support for the senior band member. Senior Jacob Hermann recalls seeing him for the first time.

“He kind of just showed up out of the blue one day. No one kind of knew about him until we all looked over, [and] we saw just big, flat cardboard Chris. He kind of took off from there,” Hermann said.

One of Flat Chris’ many destinations are football games. Anderson has been in the marching band all four years of high school, so he attends all of the football games. Anderson enjoys the band community and plays numerous instruments.

 “[Band’s] a really nice place for people to get to know other people and make a lot of different friend groups. . . . Before joining band, I played the piano, and then, once I joined band, I played the trombone. … In sixth grade, I played the baritone and then switched [to] the tuba,” Anderson said.

Every day in band class, band director Tom Chiera gets to work with Anderson. At band performances, Chiera also gets to work with Flat Chris, even gaining a feature on the Flat Chris instagram account.

“I have met flat Chris and got my picture taken a couple of weeks ago. His parents are super supportive. I think that was a fun way to support Chris and support the band program and create some fun photo ops,” Chiera said.

Anderson also has a rigorous academic schedule at Revere. He excels in many advanced classes, while also juggling several other activities and clubs such as NHS. He has big plans to further his academic career at Ohio University. While juggling academics, Anderson also works at Whitey’s, a local restaurant. Flat Chris even supports Anderson at work. Anderson recalls the visit.

“The funniest [memory] had to have been Whitey’s, because that’s where I work,” Anderson said.

Anderson has held several jobs during high school, working at Whitey’s, Boston Mills and Steak and Shake. Sometimes he balances multiple jobs at once.

“He manages it very well. He also works, [and] his grades are good. We’re really proud of him because he can balance his social life, work life, and school life,” Ellen Anderson said.

Additionally, Chris has been playing baseball since he was only 4 years old. He has played for Revere High School, but now he only plays for his travel team, the Ohio Pitbulls as a pitcher. Flat Chris supports him from the stands.

“Outside of like school in RHS, it’s mainly baseball for me. Just going to different towns across the state and playing baseball with my friends,” Anderson said.

Baseball built a large aspect of comradery into Anderson’s life. The sport allowed him to branch out and make new friends and build a community outside of school. Anderson enjoys being a part of a team and competing in baseball and marching band.

“Band is definitely the same as baseball . . . I want to be competing. I want to be doing the thing 110% of the time,” Anderson said.

Anderson is unsure if Flat Chris will travel with him to college, but the support from his family, symbolized by the cutout, certainly will. This support shined during the college application portion of Anderson’s senior year.

“So far it’s going pretty smoothly. I think the toughest thing is definitely getting everything ready to send off into a college application, and get those all wrapped up and sent in,” Anderson said.

Local celebrity Flat Chris has traveled far and wide throughout the Revere community, making an impact or giving a laugh to anyone he crosses paths with. Anderson shares these positive and impactful personality traits. The two of them are going through senior year together.

This story was originally published on Lantern on November 3, 2023.