Joplin and Wichita Patriot Guard groups exchange the American flag

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Motorcycle engines roared their way to Joplin for a special gathering of Harley-Davidson bikers earlier today for a signature passing of the American flag.

It’s a traditional exchange that happens every year where the Joplin and Wichita Patriot Guard groups exchange the American flag between their members.

Joplin’s group of bikers met Wichita’s in Coffeyville where they then escorted their members to Joplin.

More than 40 bikers participated in the exchange at Hideout Harley-Davidson in Joplin as part of the ceremony.

There’s a significant meaning behind the flag and the importance of carrying on the tradition.

Steve Lea, Director of Harley Owners Group for Hideout Harley-Davidson, said, “This particular flag was owned by one of the, patriots and he took it off his bike. It will go home with him, but typically whenever we receive the flag, when we stay on route, Wichita, Mulvane area, brings it to Joplin and Joplin takes it to Fort Smith, Arkansas. It has a particular route so that it can hit every state.”

The group was scheduled to transport the flag tomorrow, but are going to stop it today between the brotherhood of Joplin and the Mulvane-Wichita area.

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