Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Burning flags...not

From time to time, we receive American flags that are sufficiently worn or damaged and require proper retirement.

The most common form of flag retirement (and the only one our Scouts use) is by fire.

Which leads to the inevitable "flag burning" comments.

And explanations.

We retire flags, we don't burn them.

It is a distinction with a difference--it is not "both sides of the same coin".

Yes, I know the old guys at church got upset when you told them that we burn flags all the time.

According to the Federal Citizen Information Center:  "§176. Respect for the Flag (k) 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."

Let your Charter Organization, local churches, and patriotic organizations like the VFW, American Legion and Knights of Columbus know that you would be interested in handling this for them.  Our local American Legion commander gives me bags full of flags each year.

These groups don't routinely have campfires...that can be used to give service to your community.

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