Wheel of Honor is a sea of flags in the world's largest Rotary symbol.

This is Wilmington Rotary Club's signature project for 2020

A sea of more than 500 flags will fill the Rotary Wheel Garden from mid-May through July 4, 2020.

Our objectives are:

To offer our friends and neighbors a way to honor members of the armed services, veterans, first responders, teachers, and any other persons who have made a difference for their country, community or family.

To raise funds to sustain the Rotary Club's projects, aimed at Rotary's Six Areas of Focus: peace, conflict prevention and resolution; disease prevention and cure; water supply and sanitation; maternal and child health; literacy and basic education; and economic and community development.

To focus attention on the Rotary Wheel Garden, a landmark feature in Wilmington's Greenfield Park. The garden, shaped like a Rotary gear, was the Rotary Club's gift to our community in honor of the club's 50th anniversary in 1965.

What is the Wheel of Honor®?

Since 1965, Wilmington’s Rotary Wheel Garden has been the world’s largest Rotary symbol. The gear wheel represents the world-wide Rotary International movement, which encourages “Service Above Self.”

The six spokes of Wilmington’s giant Rotary wheel represent Rotary International's Six Areas of Focus, as summarized above. With a diameter of 240 feet, the Rotary Wheel Garden is visible from the air. It is also a popular amenity alongside Greenfield Park's heavily used Amphitheater, which was also a Rotary Club gift to the community.

CLICK HERE for more about the Rotary Wheel Garden.

Wilmington's Rotary Wheel GardenFor the seven weeks from Armed Forces Day to Independence Day, the wheel will be transformed into a beautiful, unique display. The garden will provide the inspirational setting for the Wilmington Rotary Club’s inaugural Field of Honor®. We will post 500 United States flags in tribute to military, veterans, first responders and others. The public is invited to sponsor individual flags, tagged to identify the persons being honored.

In light of the serious coronavirus crisis, the club especially recommends honoring physicians, nurses and other front-line health care professionals who are working at the risk of their own health to combat this epidemic.

The Wheel of Honor® display is our club's latest gift to the community. It will be made possible through donations, corporate sponsorships and the efforts of many dedicated volunteers. You can show your support for our project and your gratitude by sponsoring a flag or making a donation.

This is an experience hard to describe, but not to be forgotten. We invite all to visit the Wilmington Wheel of Honor® display and walk with us among the posted flags. The display is open to all without charge. Don’t miss it!

CLICK HERE to see a public-service video on the Wheel of Honor®.

When will this happen?

Dedication ceremony. This public event will officially open the 2020 display of the Wheel of Honor® at 11:00 am on May 16, 2020, Armed Forces Day.
UPDATE APRIL 21, 2020. The flag display and dedication ceremony have been postponed to a time to be determined, depending on advisories from public health authorities. The club's Board of Directors made that decision out of concern for the health of Rotarian volunteers who would be handling and installing the flags.
Celebration of service. At 5:30 pm on May 19, 2020, the first Tuesday following the installation of flags in the Wheel of Honor®, the Wilmington Rotary Club, its guests and corporate sponsors will gather at the Rotary Wheel Garden at Greenfield Park the club’s first Celebration of Service, highlighting Rotary’s numerous local, regional, and international service projects and activities, listed below.
UPDATE MARCH 18, 2020. The celebration of service has been canceled because of the on-going coronavirus crisis. This event may be rescheduled later in the year, depending on the public health situation.
Public display of flags.The flags will remain on display in the Wheel of Honor® through Independence Day, July 4, 2020. The flags will be lit at night. We encourage visits at any time, any day.
UPDATE APRIL 21, 2020. The club intends to present the Wheel of Honor when it is safe to do so, hopefully later this year.


Admission to the Wheel of Honor® will be free of charge. Families, friends, civic and professional groups, locals and visitors alike are encouraged to visit the Wheel of Honor®, have a picnic in the Rotary Garden or other parts of Greenfield Park, and walk through the breathtaking panorama of over 500 U. S. flags.

The Wilmington Rotary Club encourages development of other special events around the Wheel of Honor®, on the grounds of Greenfield Park, by civic groups, Scout troops, veterans groups, and a wide range of other professional and civic organizations, consistent with the guidelines of the City of Wilmington. For information and application for use of the area around the Wheel of Honor®  contact Dave Pugh with the City of Wilmington, 910-343-3614.

UPDATE MARCH 18, 2020. Until further notice, the club is recommending against any group events at the Rotary Wheel Garden or elsewhere, in the interest of public health.

How you can be a part of this project

Each flag is tagged with the name of person honored

Sponsor a flag

We are inviting individuals and groups to sponsor one or more of the 500 flags in the Wheel of Honor®. Each one can be dedicated by name to any person you wish to honor for making a significant impact in your life, or for your family, community or the nation at large. Flag sponsorships are $40 each and will help pay costs of the two-month-long Wheel of Honor® display.

Click here to sponsor a flag.

Become a corporate sponsor

Businesses and foundations are invited to become major sponsors, providing the funding for the Wilmington Rotary Club's many local and global projects during the coming year. Major sponsors will be recognized on the Wheel of Honor® site and on promotional materials for the project. Sponsorships are tax-deductible.

Become a Rotarian sponsor

Members of the club are being solicited to live the motto of "Service Above Self" and make their own financial contributions to the club's work, through our foundation.

Click here to become a sponsor.

Who benefits from sponsorships

Net proceeds from this project go to The Rotary Club of Downtown Wilmington Foundation. This is the a tax-exempt 401(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization by which our club does its work in the community and the world. The Wheel of Honor is our primary fund-raising activity for 2020.

Our current projects include:

  • The Wheel of Honor®
  • Maintenance assistance for the Rotary Wheel Garden
  • Support for students and teachers at Williston Middle School
  • Joining with other Rotary Clubs in a world-wide effort to eradicate polio
  • Funding research for cures for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Providing books and volunteer readers for children in New Hanover County’s elementary schools
  • Supporting adult literacy efforts through the Cape Fear Literacy Council
  • Providing scholarships for students attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College
  • Support for the N.C. Boys and Girls Home at Lake Waccamaw
  • Financial grants and volunteer help for local non-profits including free local health-screening clinics
  • Giving special recognition to law enforcement officers and other first responders for demonstrating Service Above Self in protecting the public.
  • Giving special recognition of outstanding teachers in their first two years of teaching to encourage their persistence in the profession
  • Providing wells for safe drinking water and disease prevention training for villages in developing countries
  • Development of leadership skills among high school students
  • Honoring Rotarian veterans who continue serving their community in the annual Veterans Day parade in Wilmington
  • Other community service activities
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