Lena and Hana run past this statue at Monument Square every day. It's described as follows:
He is striding forward, one hand holding his hat on his head so that it looks like he is waking through a horrible storm. (9.140)
There is a statue in the real Portland, Maine's Monument Square, but it doesn't look like that.
Anyway, these two like to high five the statue every time they run by. See, one of the statue's hands is outstretched in an empty fist, like he used to hold something.
By using the fist to pass clandestine notes to Alex, Lena uses this artifact of the past to help her with her present day struggles. But what did the statue used to hold? Maybe it was just a corn dog. Lena guesses it might have been a torch.
We wonder if it was a flag instead. And that flag is now gone, like the rest of the liberties in Lena's world.