VFW Post collecting worn flags for proper disposal
by Cheree Dye
Jun 11, 2014 | 654 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Carl Boyd Post 42 is accepting flags no longer fit to fly for its flag retirement ceremony on Saturday. At 10 a.m. on the grounds of Post 42, the VFW members will solemnly burn the tattered flags. Every year Post 42 disposes of 1,000-1,200 unserviceable flags on Flag Day, June 14.

Post Commander Dale Cockrill said, “Anyone who has an unusable flag can drop it off at the Post before Saturday. They can be left at the top of the hill in the old blue mailbox or people can bring them to the ceremony. It is open to the public, if anyone would like to attend.

“We burn the flags because that is the only proper way to dispose of them. Fire is cleansing and shows the flag the dignity it deserves. Burying it is not proper; we have even had men who work on garbage trucks come by and drop off flags that were sent to the landfill.”

According to the National Flag Day Foundation’s website, “President Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nation wide observance of Flag Day. Then in 1949, President Truman signed an act of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day.”

Cockrill said respect and proper care for the flag is crucial. “I have traveled to many nations, compliments of the U.S. military, and it always gave me a feeling of comfort to see our flag flying. It is a great symbol of our great nation.”

The American Legion website offers extensive information on proper flag etiquette and details on the flag code.

“The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, with the exception of an all-weather flag. However, most flags are made of all-weather materials.

“It should be displayed vertically, whether indoors or out, and suspended so that its folds fall free as though the flag were staffed. The stripes may be displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, and the union [blue section with stars] should be uppermost and the observer’s left. When displayed in a window of a home or a place of business, the flag should be displayed in the same way with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

“The flag code states that the flag should not touch anything beneath it, including the ground. This is stated to indicate that care should be exercised in the handling of the flag, to protect it from becoming soiled or damaged. You are not required to destroy the flag when this happens. As long as the flag remains suitable for display, even if washing or dry-cleaning is required, you may continue to display the flag as a symbol of our great country.

“The flag code states it is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flag staffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. The American Legion interprets “proper illumination” as a light specifically placed to illuminate the flag or having a light source sufficient to illuminate the flag so it is recognizable as such by the casual observer.”