Avenue of Flags Returns to Community Park in Honor Essential Personnel During Pandemic

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 5, 2020 at 8:24pm

The Avenue of Flags has made an early appearance this spring in Jacksonville’s Community Park.

The Jacksonville Lions Club has placed a set of flags up along the Veteran’s Circle area of the park during the month of April.

Jacksonville Lions Club President Tom Atkins says that they placed the flags to show support and thanks to members in the community.

The board decided that since we are in kind of a situation of crisis, and we particularly wanted to recognize those citizen heroes that are providing medical service and first responder service, and those that are in the stores that are helping us all by having needed supplies while we are in this situation.

It’s because of them we are comforted, we are provided for and we have better hope during this situation. So we wanted to put the flags out in the park in honor of them and felt it was just a positive thing that we could do.”

Atkins says the flags are normally only out about five times a year for national holidays, with the first appearance of the flags generally happening on Memorial Day in May.

We put them out those five times a year, and the only other time we’ve put them out on an unusual occasion was after 9/11 we had the whole flag display set up and made sure there was even additional lighting. Where we have the flags right now we know there is good lighting available so we are going to leave them up for the entire month of April.

Flags fly in a line next to the Community Park sign just inside the South Main entrance.

We realize there may be some extra flags that need to be added and we will do that as necessary. We also have some members assigned to keep an eye on them, to check and make sure if they get tattered or we don’t have lights. We’ll make sure that is all monitored and taken care of, so we will be on it every day this month.”

Although the full Avenue of Flags display is not set up, as normally seen on national holidays, Atkins says there is one flag that has been set up for a special tribute.

It’s not the full compliment of flags like we set up for a holiday, but we wanted to make sure that we had some out and that they are under some key lights in the area.

To be honest with you, I have added one extra flag off to side, in honor of the local gentleman that succumbed to the virus. We are not putting any sign out on it or anything, we just want to recognize the tough situation.”

A lone flag stands in honor of the rural Morgan County resident who died from COVID-19

The Avenue of Flags will continue to fly at the South Main entrance to the park, and along Veteran’s Circle through the end of the month.

More information about the Jacksonville Lions Club can be found on their Facebook page by searching their name, or @getsomefruit , or by calling Tom Adkins at 217-248-7000