Saturday November 11th is Veterans day, a day designated for honoring
all veterans who have served our country. For many of us the American
flag is a symbol of our great country and the men and women who fought
for our freedom. Did you know that there is an official flag code that
outlines the proper care for flags and even designates certain ways that
worn out flags should be disposed of?
The US Flag code states that “the flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. “ The intention of the code, specifying a “dignified way” of disposal is to prevent a no longer usable flag from being dumped in the trash alongside a bunch of rotting garbage or thrown into a trash heap.
When retiring an American flag you have 3 choices, burn it, bury it, or recycle it
-In recent years it has become more common for flags to be made of synthetic fabrics which can be hazardous when burned. In an effort to find a solution recycling centers have been created to recycle these flags responsibly. Go to Americanflagdisposal.com for more information about this option.
-If you decide to burn or bury your flag the first recommendation is to fold the flag into the customary triangle shape most often seen at funerals for veterans. If your flag is too large to be burned or buried in one piece you can shred the flag by separating the stripes, leaving the blue star spangled field intact.
-If you are burying the flag, you should use a wooden box of good quality and condition
-While burying or burning the flag protocol says that you should have someone recite the pledge of allegiance, or give a small speech about the importance of the flag.
If you are unsure how to dispose of a flag yourself you can contact your local VFW post or Boy Scout troop. They often have scheduled ceremonies to burn flags and you can donate yours to the pack.