Josh Stewart was given the honor and responsibility Wednesday for an American flag on a cross-country journey to help generate support for the military and their families.
The flag is midway through its 14,500-mile trek across the lower 48 states, over a 110-day period. It was delivered Wednesday to the Golden Isles Harley-Davidson dealership in Brunswick via motorcycle by a group of veterans from Jacksonville, Fla.
During a brief transfer of the flag ceremony in the dealership’s parking lot, the flag bearer from the group from Jacksonville, presented the flag to Stewart, saying, “I’m ready to be relieved.”
Prior to the handoff, an honor guard paraded the colors, followed by the audience reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Joe Combs, regional commander for the Nation of Patriots, said it’s the eighth year an American flag has been transported city to city across the nation by veterans’ motorcycle groups.
The journey began Memorial Day in Wisconsin, traveling to the West Coast, across the South and is now making the swing up the East Coast and through New England before returning home.
The flag will be on display at the Harley dealership in Brunswick until it departs at 10:15 a.m. today for its next stop in Savannah, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Combs said he is trying to get as many motorcyclists as possible to accompany the flag to its next stop. Those interested in participating in the ride to Savannah are asked to show up to the dealership at 9 a.m. to register to ride in the free event.
“We’re looking for numbers,” he said. “The purpose is to raise awareness for our services.”
Stewart said he plans to take U.S. Highway 17 to Savannah. The top speed will be 55 mph to preserve the flag from wear and tear as it flutters in the wind. When the flag ends its journey in Wisconsin, it will be on display with the other seven that have already completed the trip.
One day, Stewart said he’d like to see the flag he will carry on display in Wisconsin, knowing he played a role in its cross-country tour.
“It’s an honor to be carrying the flag,” Stewart said. “It’s a feeling of excitement seeing the flag carried across all 48 states.”