Making Unity Fly One American Flag at a Time

by Joei DeCarlo

South Philadelphia local Jim Jenkins is making it his mission to change the Philadelphia skyline by our country’s 250th anniversary in 2026. Jenkins has a personal goal of hanging at least 20 American flags on high rises throughout our city. With over 200 American flags already hung in various locations, he has been making progress towards his eight-year-long project. Currently, 150 flags are hung in the Lincoln High School area alone. Ideal locations for future flags include the nine flag poles at City Hall that currently require maintenance, as well as The Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

The idea for Jim’s 10,000 American Flag Project began when he attended his cousin’s funeral. The American flag at the funeral made such an impact on him that he became inspired to promote unity within our communities.

“Changing the skyline of the city would help us all work together,” Jim explained to us. “As divided as we may be on certain issues, this project has brought many groups together with one mission: hanging American flags. There are community organizers, state representatives and community members involved. People contact me about how they can get involved and I’m hoping the amount will continue to grow.”

This goal is no easy feat, as hanging the flags are costly. A great deal of fundraising is involved in the hanging of each flag. Most recently, the project received a donation from Lambrie Funeral Home that helped to hang multiple flags.

Working with Ward Chair Joe DeFelice, Councilman David Oh, James Ortlieb, The Mayfair Civic Association and others, Jim encouraged many to hang flags and was able to have a “flag petition” passed. After meeting with several councilmen, Jim was able to have a resolution passed on June 18, 2015, written by David Krain.

Some of the language in Krain’s flag petition includes, “We, the undersigned, wish to have 10,000 American Flags fly throughout the City of Philadelphia to bring the pride back to our country and ourselves. We, the undersigned, will fly the flag ourselves and this petition will encourage others to do the same.”

We wish Jim the best of luck on his project and we hope others recognize the value in his goal.

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