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Former Marine finds new way to wave flag in Oklahoma

Oklahoman Terry Wilkerson, a former U.S. Marine, wrapped his boat with a patriotic presentation for all to see.
BY JIM BECKEL jbeckel@opubco.com Published: July 4, 2011

Terry Wilkerson loves America.

As loyal as he is to the U.S., Wilkerson never has felt the need to wrap himself in the American flag to prove his loyalty and affection for this country.

But on this Fourth of July, the former Marine wants everyone to know — and see — how much he loves America and one of its most recognized and cherished symbols.

That's why he plans to unveil the customized graphic wrap on his sleek boat on Independence Day. The 32-foot cabin cruiser is wrapped in an American flag, stars and stripes stretching from bow to stern.

Last month, Wilkerson, 68, was talking with a friend, Nika Williams, about altering the plain white paint job on the boat. Williams, who also is a former Marine, is a graphic artist.

He immediately set to work, scanning photographs of the boat into a computer and playing with designs. In less than 30 minutes, he came up with a design he thought Wilkerson would like.

“It was the American flag wrapped all around my boat,” Wilkerson said.

He was sold. Williams' vision was perfect.

First look

Last week, Wilkerson got a first look at his “new” boat at Williams' shop, Rock Star Graphics, in Oklahoma City. About 90 percent of the work is done; all that's left is a little trimming and changing out some red stripes so the color is consistent.

Seeing it, Wilkerson pumped his arm and growled the Marine Corps motto, “Semper fi.”

With a little luck, the final adjustments to the wrap will be completed in time for Wilkerson, who wants “to create a little patriotism around our lakes,” to launch his boat Monday at Lake Eufaula in eastern Oklahoma.

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