History and Conception of Flags of Glory
The idea for Flags of Glory as a Veterans Day program was inspired by two other types of displays, a grouping of American Flags as a patriotic display and a drive-through luminary display such as the one we have at Christmas.  There are several organizations that developed programs where flags are placed in groupings, usually in a field, that make a dramatic display.  Luminaries are popular at Christmas and often are organized by neighborhoods.  The Gardens created its own luminary presentation a number of years ago with 1000's of candlelit bags placed along most of the roadways within the cemetery.  Flags of Glory combines these two ideas in that over 200 full-size 3'x5' flags are placed along the central circular roadway that is nearly one-third of a mile in diameter.   As it turned out, the size and scope of this type of display makes it a truly emotional experience.

As the idea took form as an event to be hosted by the Gardens, we began to see other possibilities and enlisted the council of several leaders within the Veteran community.  This ultimately led to the Gardens seeking a Veterans organization as a partner plus a way to use the program to do more than just be another public event.  The South Alabama Veterans Council (SAVC), agreed to be that sponsor.  Everyone agreed that this was an ideal partnership because the cemetery has the organizational resources along with offering a unique and convenient venue while the SAVC represents all Veterans organizations in South Alabama.

Since we knew that a program such as this would take considerable effort and planning, we enlisted the help of various individuals and organizations, both Veteran and non-Veteran.  These participants became instrumental in the logistical aspects as well as the ceremonial elements making it an inclusive community effort.

The result of this effort, and partnerships, was a program that not only promotes patriotism by honoring all past and present military personnel, it became a means for families to participate directly through flag sponsorships.  With these sponsorships, plus the support of local businesses, it is also a source of greatly needed private financial support for various Veterans causes.  As a community effort, it became a way to bring together various individuals and groups for a common patriot purpose.