Jim Parks may be 93-year-old, but he isn't slowing down. The former Navy sailor and World War II service member is on a mission to officially honor his fellow veterans. Parks, who has a passion for commemorating those who have given back to the United States of America, has created a flag that serves this very purpose -- a symbol that he hopes to eventually see flying in all 50 states.
Parks, who pushes on despite health problems, has stated his surprise with the fact that there are already flags for each branch of the military and for individuals who are missing in combat. But the dearth of a more general symbol to represent the many individuals who have served has been a concern to him, so he has set out on a crusade to see that this alleged wrong is righted.
"Twenty-three million veterans that served our country: Don't they deserve to have an emblem that represents them?, Parks recently asked. "You always have to be optimistic. If it doesn't work one way, try another way. So, I keep trying. I've come a long way in 10 years."
Already, Parks is halfway to his goal, as 25 states have voiced support for the flag. The California state legislature was the first to take up the motion back in 2006 for what Parks has dubbed the "Veterans Remembered Flag." The symbol, rather than singling out a specific group of servicemen and women, is intended to serve as a memorial for "past, present, and future veterans," while providing "an enduring symbol to support tomorrow's veterans today."
The flag, which is green with a five-point star, includes the colors of red, white and blue inside of a ribbon with 13 gold stars:
While Parks and his supportive family have already had some victories in seeing states support the flag, The Press-Democrat has more about the challenges that remain:
The path to national recognition still presents political and administrative challenges, and Parks and his family hope they will get a champion in Congress to push through adoption of the flag. [...]
Parks and his family hope demonstrations of support in a majority of U.S. states will spur action on the federal front through the congressional Veterans Affairs Committee, whose former chairman and ranking Democratic member, Rep. Bob Filner, D-Chula Vista, they met with several years ago.
“Those veterans should be recognized and that would be accomplished simply by making this a national emblem,” Parks proclaims.
Watch Parks explain his goals, below: