WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHNT) – An American flag and a team of veterans have begun their 44-day journey from the U.S. Capitol to Birmingham for the 2022 World Games.

The Team Red, White & Blue Old Glory Relay to The World Games2022 began Wednesday morning, it will travel 3,100 miles through 15 states in time for the opening ceremony on July 7 at 8 p.m.

“It’s going to be an incredible moment of national unity to watch veterans bring the American flag into the Opening Ceremony in front of a live, global audience as our country plays host to thousands of athletes and fans from every corner of the world,” said Nick Sellers, CEO of The World Games 2022. “We are thankful to our partner Airbus for making this possible and can’t wait to track the progress of Old Glory as our honored veterans take the flag on this epic journey.” 

Team RWB works to support veterans by helping them form connections with other veterans and civilian supporters.

A Birmingham vet, former U.S. Army Sergeant Noah Galloway, and Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin will carry the flag at the end of its journey into The World Games Opening Ceremony.

“This is a huge honor and I’m excited,” said Galloway. “It’s big for the country. It’s going to connect thousands of people and countless communities because Airbus and Team RWB are doing this. It’s building those connections. I think that’s what we need right now.”

The World Games will run July 7 through 17 and an expected 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries will be in Birmingham for the 11th edition of the games. This event is the first to be held in the U.S. since 1981.