The Avenue of Flags returns to Community Park for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, and organizers are looking for both subscribers and old tattered flags in the coming days.
The Lions Club of Jacksonville sponsors the avenue of flags that lines the section of the park containing several war memorials. Tom Atkins with the Jacksonville Lions Club says the tradition started in the mid-nineties and has grown to include subscribers or sponsors of the individual flags.
He says being a subscriber is a great way to honor those who served several times throughout the year. “They get a placard that is placed alongside the flag. It’s about an eight by sixteen sign and is attached to the flag pole. People put the names of someone who served, or a message remembering those who served. We have some clubs and organizations as well.
We put the flags out five times a year with Memorial Day being the first one. We don’t put the placards out then because we are honoring all who have given their life in service to our country. But the other four times a year the placards go up. Those other days are Flag Day on June 14th, the Fourth of July, and then Labor Day and also for Veterans Day.”
The Jacksonville Lions Club is taking on a new venture this year and will be collecting flags that need to be retired. Atkins says flags can be dropped off at Petefish, Skiles, and Company Bank on South Main.
“They very graciously are helping us with some of the expenses of getting this kicked off. People that have flags that are worn out, faded or torn or tattered in some way- it’s appropriate to not fly those so they can be disposed of in a proper manner. The Lions Club will do that in a respectful way. We will be collecting them for two weeks from June first through the fourteenth. They can drop them off at the drive-through window or inside the bank. We will have a collection box inside the bank for that.”
The Lions Club will also have a drop-off point set up along the Avenue of Flags in observance of Flag Day on Tuesday, June 14th from noon to 7:00 pm.
Retired flags can be dropped off at Petefish, Skiles, and Company Bank located at 1342 South Main Street in Jacksonville from June 1st through the 14th.
For more information on becoming a subscriber sponsor of a flag along the Avenue of Flags in Community Park, call or text Tom Adkins at 217-248-7000.