ZEPHYRHILLS — While most preschoolers were learning their ABCs and 123s, Mitchell Moure was fascinated with world maps and globes.
By age 5, Mitchell had memorized tons of geographical facts and could recite the capital cities for at least 200 international countries. For him, flags were pretty cool, too.
And Mitchell, now 11 and getting ready to start classes at Weightman Middle, can pinpoint all 50 U.S. state flags.
Not bad for a soon-to-be sixth-grader who has yet to take a geography class.
Once, Mitchell and his family visited Colorado and noticed a city flag waving in the breeze. Why doesn't our town have its own flag? Mitchell asked his dad, Brian.
After a bit of research, the youngster hatched a plan to create something unique. He designed 16 prototype flags for Zephyrhills featuring the city's round logo paired with shapes and vibrant colors.
"Yellow for the sunshine, green for the grass, trees and vegetation and blue for the (drinking) water," said Mitchell, who lives with his family in Wesley Chapel.
Brian Moure floated the idea of a city flag to Mayor Cliff McDuffie, who then invited the youngster to pitch the idea before the five-member City Council during a public meeting.
Recently, several dozen folks gathered at Zephyrhills City Hall for the biweekly council meeting and watched Mitchell's PowerPoint presentation of the city flag project.
Most people couldn't tell, but the youngster was a nervous wreck. He practiced his spiel about five times before the council meeting. And Mitchell wore his best button-down.
And Mitchell's informative presentation rivaled that of a polished public speaker. He spoke with knowledge and confidence as he showed off each sample flag and explained the reasons behind its design.
After the meeting, the youngster confided, "I stumbled on a few words."
"He has an expectation of greatness," said Bill Wolf, 44, Mitchell's junior Bible quiz coach, at his church. "He does things in a great way, for a great purpose."
Like helping to lead his church's Bible team to the district and state competition, Wolf said. "He's one of the brightest kids in (the team), for sure."
"He's just a great kid," said Lisa Owens who heads Victorious Life Church's junior Bible quiz team. "Always respectful, always well-mannered, always attentive."
Mitchell was a gifted student at Wesley Chapel Elementary and a big soccer fan who wants to create video games — or maybe flags — when he grows up. The Moures enjoy traveling. Last month, Mitchell and his dad pulled out an atlas and planned a trip to the Grand Canyon. When it comes to geography, Mitchell is a whiz.
Brian Moure laughed at the idea of Mitchell making any money on his Zephyrhills flag. It's just a fun project, he said.
There's no telling where this city flag project might go. At this point, there's no known plan for the council to vote on the matter. It was just an idea for folks to think about.
And for Mitchell, that's fine with him. He's just excited to be starting a new chapter of his life: middle school.
Finally, after studying the world, on his own, for the bulk of his life, "I'm going to take a geography class," Mitchell said.