Caribbean Life News By Nelson King
When the 125th running of the illustrious Penn Relays Carnival at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia got underway last week, there was a new flag among the few at the Franklin Field Stadium.
The Vincentian national flag flew high, for the very first time, among that of the United States and Jamaica, among others, over the huge, newly-refurbished stadium that seats 52,593.
The Franklin Field stadium is located, at the eastern edge of Penn’s campus, across the Schuylkill River from Center City in Philadelphia.
The flying of the Vincentian flag during the three-day games, which began on Thursday, April 23 was made possible through one man, James Cordice, the pioneer and spearhead of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ participation in the oldest and largest collegiate athletic meet in the US.
“I feel great to see the flag hovers over the stadium,” the Philadelphia-based Cordice told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview after the two Vincentian schools — The Thomas Saunders Secondary School (TSSS) and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Grammar School – competed in the Relays Carnival over the weekend.
“It brings so much joy for me to look up and see the Vincy flag at Penn,” he added, disclosing that he had to convince University of Pennsylvania officials of the importance of flying the Vincentian flag at the stadium.
“During the application process, the flag had to be 6’x10’ and specifically-made,” Cordice continued. “So, I looked around and found a company in Ohio that wanted to make the flag to the specifications.”
Cordice said he always wanted to see the Vincentian flag flown during the Penn Relays ever since he first attended the games in 1991.